1 Peter 2:22-25
He Forgives Sins: Narrative from Luke 7:36-50
“How can anyone think this man is a prophet? He is a glutton, a drunkard, and his friends are tax collectors and sinners. If he were a prophet, wouldn’t he know that woman is the town prostitute?” The whispers of the Pharisees created an awkward moment for everyone in Simon the Pharisee’s house. The disciples all watched intently, wondering how Jesus would react in this situation.
“Simon, I have a question for you,” Jesus began.
“Yes, teacher,” Simon the Pharisee said.
“Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed 500 denarii and the other 50. When he cancelled both debts, who do you think loved him more.”
Simon replied, “I suppose the one with the bigger debt cancelled.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. Jesus turned to the woman and exposed Simon’s hypocrisy, “This ‘sinner’ treated me with the utmost respect. She washed my feet with her own tears, kissed my feet, and poured perfume on them. You didn’t even greet me or offer water so that I could wash my own feet. If you were to judge from these actions who really loved me, wouldn’t you say it was the woman? Woman, your sins are forgiven.”
The guests were bewildered, “A man who forgives sins. Who is this?”
The disciples watched in awe. Jesus continued to be accused, yet never felt the need to defend himself. He suffered, yet even though all power in heaven and earth had been given to him, he never threatened to use it against anyone. He trusted God like no man who had ever come before him. He served as the Shepherd of their souls…
1 Peter 2:22-25. In His Steps
To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
“He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”
When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
His Example. Praise God for a living example. We have witnessed an alien invasion: a non-human took on human form to save the planet.
- God painted the picture of creation in all its intricate glory—yet men failed to see him in the miracle of his masterpiece.
- God spoke to men, providing direction, guidance, hope, and assurance—yet men failed to listen and trust him.
- God guided men to author a love letter of epic proportion designed to allure people into a relationship with him—yet people ignored his Word.
- God raised up prophets to implore people to love and obey him—yet people killed the prophets in their own stubbornness.
The final climactic miracle God performed was to squeeze his Glory into human form, to “leave an example that you should follow in his steps.”
The Steps of Jesus. Jesus’ life continues to astonish people to this day. His behavior set a standard above any example we’ve ever known. He started with 30 humble years of a lower-middle-class existence. At some point, Jesus stepped up as the head of the household when his father died. Later, he spent three years in the ministry of service. Rather than focusing on these aspects of Jesus’ steps, Peter reminded his readers that Jesus came in the spirit of the suffering servant of Isaiah 53. Jesus’ example when he suffered raised the bar beyond any of the great prophets of any world religion. Even though he himself was God in the flesh, he demonstrated his love for us through enduring suffering at our hands. Rather than retaliate, he offered reconciliation. Instead of trying to impose submission on us through fear, the One who will one day judge heaven and earth made no threats as he entrust- ed himself to the judge of all men, his Father. Through his own self-sacri ce, he forgave the very sins that put him to death.
Our Healing. By his wounds we are healed. Jesus hoped that his death might inspire us to die to sins. He believed his example would help us understand what it meant to live for a right relationship with our God and other men. He desired that our repentance would multiply the number of Christlike examples on this earth. He knew that if we would return to our Shepherd, he could restore our souls. Our healing becomes the vehicle for transmitting healing to the people who see our example.
Personal Application ____________________________
- What insights did I gather from today’s devotional?
- What decisions should I make?
- How can I put into action what I’ve learned?
- Share with another person what insight, decision or action you have taken.