6 - The Quality of Love

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Luke 7
44. Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon,
"Look! See this woman kneeling here! When I entered your home, you didn't bother to offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair.
45. You refused me the customary kiss of greeting, but she has kissed my feet again and again from the time I first came in.
46. You neglected the usual courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has covered my feet with rare perfume.
47. Therefore her sins - and they are many - are forgiven, for she loved me much; but one who is forgiven little, shows little love."
(Living Bible)

This is one of the most profound rebukes Jesus ever delivered to anyone.
Jesus used this occasion to judge the quality of Simon's love for him, by comparing his deficiencies in hospitality to the lavish and personal outpourings of this "unworthy" woman.

Simon had not bothered to have Jesus' feet washed.
Simon had refused the customary kiss of greeting.
Simon had neglected the usual courtesy of olive oil for His head.

Love shows its quality in action - or the lack of it.

The commendation that Jesus gave this woman is similar to another situation which He commented on:
41. Then he went over to the collection boxes in the Temple and sat and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Some who were rich put in large amounts.
42. Then a poor widow came and dropped in two pennies.
43. He called his disciples to him and remarked, "That poor widow has given more than all those rich men put together! For they gave a little of their extra fat, while she gave up her last penny."    (Mark 12   Living Bible)

God puts a measure on the quality of our love for Him. And God does not measure our quality of love by the quantity of our action, but instead by what personal cost went into our action.

It must have taken great personal cost for this social outcast to dare to enter the home of a wealthy, disapproving Pharisee to demonstrate her love in such a manner.

It was also at great personal cost that the poor widow gave her last penny that day.
At what personal cost does your love for the Lord show itself?

Father, forgive me for taking the love You have shown me for granted and for responding to You like Simon the Pharisee.
Give me the courage to demonstrate my love for You in a way that You will see how much I do indeed love You,
in Jesus' name I pray,    Amen.