2 Samuel 12:7-10, 13; Psalm 32:1-2, 5, 7, 11 (R/. cf. 5c); Galatians 2:16, 19-21; 1 John 4:10b; Luke 7:36-8:3 or 7:36-50
Last week, God’s love touched two powerless widows; this week God reaches out to two powerful men: a king and a Pharisee. In both cases today, God’s prophets made use of stories to confront and convert. (One may want to read the entire Old Testament story in Chapters 11 and 12 of 2 Samuel).
The prophet Nathan traps the conscience of an adulterous king by using a story of a man whose prized pet lamb was snatched for a rich man’s dinner. Jesus traps the conscience of a Pharisee by using the story of two people whose debts are forgiven. We know that David responds and repents, recognizing his sinfulness as he says, “I have sinned against the Lord,” and Nathan proclaims God’s forgiveness, though not without consequences. The Pharisee grudgingly gets the point of Jesus’ story (those forgiven more, love more), but we do not know whether it frees him from his judgmental ways.
Perhaps the most instructive figure is the woman who comes to the Pharisee’s house. Her open heart and love for Jesus call us to love the Lord with abandon, recognizing that God’s forgiveness is ours for the taking, and responding wholeheartedly.
Does God have to lure you into seeking forgiveness?