And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?…
Our Lord's immediate object in this parable was to defend the woman and justify His own allowance of her presence and expressions of affections. This defence and justification are accomplished when it is shown that the very familiarities which the Pharisee thought Jesus should have rebuked are the proof that the woman is forgiven, cleansed, and pure.
1. Christ points to the woman's demonstrations of love to Him as proof that her sins are forgiven. His argument is, that she has been forgiven a debt, and therefore loves her creditor. It is Christ Himself she loves, and He therefore is the creditor who has forgiven her; but her debt was sin, transgression against God, and it is therefore God who is her true creditor. Christ thus identifies Himself with God, and in the simplest manner accepts love to Himself as if it were love to God, and as decisive evidence regarding the woman's relation to the Highest. Love to Christ, therefore, is the measure and the pledge of purity.
2. Love to Christ is the result of forgiveness, and varies with the amount of debt forgiven. It is not, however, simply the amount of sin, but the sense of it, which is the measure of gratitude to Him who forgives it.
(M. Dods, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?