“Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love….” Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Luke 7:47a & 48
When does forgiveness take place? When does healing take place? It is a question not easily answered when looking at the Gospels and the ministry of Jesus. Numerous times in the Gospels the text says that a person was healed or forgiven only for Jesus to say, after the fact, “You are healed,” or “You are forgiven.” In this story, Jesus indicated that the sinful woman’s love and outward affection were the result of her extensive sins being forgiven. Therefore, it would seem to indicate that the woman had been forgiven before Jesus pronounced forgiveness.
Perhaps we are forgiven by God the moment our hearts turn back in God’s direction. Perhaps forgiveness is offered upon our very first corrective step. Before we have even made a concrete offering of love, perhaps our change of heart is enough to elicit God’s mercy. If this is so, then Jesus’ words are simply an assurance of pardon. The woman had been forgiven; hence she showed Jesus’ great love. However, Jesus still speaks words of forgiveness to seal her transformation. We are forgiven when we begin to return our lives to God, and Jesus offers the assurance that such a gift has indeed been extended to us.
What does “assurance of pardon” mean to you?
Lord God, You are generous and merciful and forgiving. Thank You. Thank You for the forgiveness, and thank You for the assurance and the confirmation that such forgiveness has been offered to me. In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN.