“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?» (Luke 7:41, 42).
Churches sometimes organize contests to encourage Bible study or memorizing certain passages and prophecies and so forth, but I don’t remember every hearing about a contest to see who loves the most. It would be interesting; the scoring would be subjective, and perhaps even a heresy in a certain way. The chapter called «The Feast at Simon’s House» in The Desire of Ages tells us the well-known story of Mary and her expensive gift for the Savior, but a lot is said about Judas and Simon, as well. we overlook their behavior and their attitudes.
It was in this context that Jesus asked a question of Simon, the host of the gathering. Simon was a Pharisee; he had been a leper, and healed him. Although on the outside the disease had disappeared, inside he still had many lessons that were only half-learned.
Everyone ‘ s prejudice was awakened when they saw Jesus accept offering and allowed her to touch Him. All of Simon’s pride as host tumbling down when he saw the scowls on the faces of his other guests. How easy it is to lose our perspective of situations!
Mary’s sacrifice exasperated Simon, and he could not understand Jesus’s accepting attitude. But the compassion that Jesus showed Mary was the same compassion He had shown Simon. Instead of reproaching him publicly and accusing him in a direct way, Jesus couched His teaching in a parable and spoke with Simon gently in order not to bring attention to their private conversation. Jesus mentioned the opportunities that Simon had had to show gratitude and love toward the One who had healed him, and how Simon had missed out on all of them. The contrast between Simon and Mary was clear. It did not matter how much each of them owed Jesus; neither one of them could repay Him for the freedom and healing that He brought mattered was their gratitude, a humble heart given to Him, and a willing disposition to serve.
Jesus also comes to us, and without shaming us publicly, He speaks softly but firmly to our hearts, if we let Him. He still has many things to teach us. We still have many things to thank Him for.
Maybe your church will never hold this kind of a contest, but you could prepare your own heart for it each day by learning to love Jesus more.