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Humble Hero

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    How God Really Acts

    Simon did not realize that God’s Son must act in God’s way, with compassion, tenderness, and mercy. Simon’s way was to ignore Mary’s repentant service. Her act of kissing Christ’s feet and anointing them with ointment was exasperating to his hardheartedness. He thought that Christ should recognize sinners and rebuke them.HH 261.2

    To this unspoken thought, the Savior answered, “‘Simon, I have something to say to you. ... There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?’ Simon answered and said, ‘I suppose the one whom he forgave more.’ And He said to him, ‘You have rightly judged.’”HH 261.3

    As Nathan did with David (2 Samuel 12:1-7), Christ gave His host the burden of pronouncing sentence on himself. Simon had led into sin the woman he now despised. He had deeply wronged her. By the two debtors of the parable, Jesus represented Simon and the woman. Jesus did not intend to teach that the two of them should feel different degrees of obligation, for each owed a debt of gratitude that they could never repay. But Jesus wanted to show Simon that his sin was as much greater than hers as a debt of five hundred denarii exceeds a debt of fifty.HH 261.4

    Simon now began to see himself in a new light. He saw how Jesus, who was more than a prophet, regarded Mary. Shame overcame him, and he realized that he was in the presence of One superior to himself.HH 261.5

    “I entered your house,” Christ continued, “you gave Me no water for My feet, [but with tears of repentance Mary has washed My feet and wiped them with the hair of her head.] You gave Me no kiss, but this woman, [whom you despise,] has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in.” Christ recounted the opportunities Simon had had to show his appreciation for what his Lord had done for him.HH 261.6

    The Heart Searcher read the motive that led to Mary’s action; He also saw the spirit that prompted Simon’s words. “Do you see this woman?” He said to him. “I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”HH 261.7

    Simon had thought he honored Jesus by inviting Him to his house. But now he saw himself as he really was. He saw that his religion had been a robe of Pharisaism. He had despised the compassion of Jesus. He had not recognized Him as God’s representative. Mary was a sinner pardoned; he was a sinner unpardoned.HH 261.8

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