Written By Lesallan

Ohio Christian University

BIB3510 Gospels: Luke (ONLF23)

Professor Daniel Rickett

September 7, 2023

The Gospel of Luke Devotional – Gratitude

One of the most striking stories in the Gospel of Luke is the account of Jesus being anointed by a sinful woman in the house of a Pharisee (Luke 7:36-50, ESV). The woman, who had a reputation in the town for her immoral life, brought an alabaster flask of ointment and poured it on Jesus’ feet, wetting them with her tears and wiping them with her hair. The Pharisee, whose name was Simon, was shocked and offended by this act of devotion. The Pharisee thought, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner” (Luke 7:39, ESV).

However, Jesus knew his thoughts and challenged him with a parable. He asked Simon, “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he canceled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” (Luke 7:41-42, ESV) Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt,” Jesus said, “You have judged rightly” (Luke 7:43, ESV). Then Jesus turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little” (Luke 7:44-47, ESV).

Furthermore, He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven” (Luke 7:48, ESV). The other guests were astonished and wondered, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” (Luke 7:49, ESV). But Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace” (Luke 7:50, ESV).

This story teaches us a powerful lesson about gratitude. The woman was grateful to Jesus because she knew how much she had been forgiven. She had experienced the grace and mercy of God in a personal way. She had been set free from the guilt and shame of her past. She had been given a new identity and a new hope. She had been loved by the one who knew her best and accepted her as she was. The power of the gospel had transformed her.

On the other hand, the Pharisee was ungrateful to Jesus because he did not think he needed forgiveness. He was proud of his religious status and his moral achievements. This Pharisee looked down on others who did not meet his standards. He did not recognize his own sinfulness and his need for grace. He did not appreciate the gift of God’s presence in his house. He did not love Jesus because he did not realize how much he had been loved.

So how can we cultivate a posture of gratitude as people who have been forgiven much? In a very practical way, we can remember our own story of forgiveness. Recall how God saved us from our sins and gave us new life in Christ. Thank Him for His grace and mercy every day.

Reflect on the cross of Christ. Meditate on the love and sacrifice of Jesus, who died for our sins and rose again for our justification. Praise Him for His victory over sin and death. Rejoice in your adoption as God’s child. Celebrate your identity and inheritance as a beloved son or daughter of God. Enjoy your relationship with your heavenly Father who cares for you. Repent of any pride or self-righteousness. Confess any attitude or action that dishonors God or hurts others. Ask God to forgive you and to help you grow in humility and love. Reach out to others with compassion and kindness. Share the gospel with those who do not know Christ. Forgive those who have wronged you. Serve those who are in need. Love others as Christ has loved you.

Gratitude is not just a feeling or emotion. It is a lifestyle and a mindset that flows from our understanding of God’s grace and our response to His love. Let us be like the woman who loved much because she was forgiven much. Let us be grateful people who glorify God and bless others. We can love Jesus much due to this gratitude in many ways: we can worship Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Express our adoration and devotion to Him through prayer, praise, and obedience. Follow Him with all our steps, words, and deeds. Imitate His example and obey his commands in every area of our life. Trust Him with all our fears, doubts, and worries. Cast all our cares on Him and rely on His promises and power. Honor Him with all our gifts, talents, and resources. Use everything we have for His glory and His purposes. Share Him with all our friends, family, and neighbors. Tell others about His grace and His salvation.