And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?…
There are aggravated sinners who have no deep sense of sin, and there are great saints who regard themselves as the chief of sinners. The measure of one's gratitude for forgiveness is the conception which he has of his sin. He who makes light of his sin will make light also of salvation. But he who has a profound conviction of the evil of sin as the abominable thing which God hates, will have an overwhelming sense of God's love in granting him forgiveness. The deeper an apprehension of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, the greater will be our love to Him who gives us deliverance from it. And where there is that sense of the hatefulness of sin, there will be no disposition to go deeper into it.
1. Let sinners of every name and degree be encouraged by this narrative to go at once to Christ. He will in no wise cast them out. "A bruised reed" was not deemed worthy of the shepherd's trouble when he was piping in the field; and so he flung it away, and got another. "Smoking flax" gives an offensive odour; and rather than be annoyed with it, the housewife will take it out of the lamp, and tread upon it. But it was otherwise with Jesus. That which others would cast away, He sought to retain, and turn to good account. That which others would give up as hopeless, Be would not abandon.
2. If we would be successful in raising the fallen, and reclaiming the abandoned, we must be willing to "touch" them, and to be "touched" by them. In other words, we must come into warm, loving, personal contact with them. What an uplift Christ gave to the soul of this poor woman, when He, the pure and holy, let her thus approach Him! And this was His way all through His ministry. Contact is needed, if virtue is to go out. When the Lord wished to save the human race, He touched it by taking on Him our nature, without our nature's pollution. So we must take the nature of the degraded, without its impurity, if we would help him. We must stoop to take him by the hand, or to let him grasp our hand, if we would lift him up.
3. If we wish to love God much, we must think much of what we owe to Him. Low views of sin lead to a light estimate of the blessing of pardon, and a light estimate of the blessing of pardon will lead to but a little love of God. This cuts deep, my brethren. Your love to God will be but the other side of your hatred of sin; and there, as it seems to me, is the radical defect in much of the religious experience of the day. Men make light of their obligation to Christ because they have first made light of sin. Low views of the evil of sin are at the root of all heresies in doctrine and all unholiness in life. Get rid of all such minimizing ideas of sin, I beseech you; and to that end come near the cross, for nowhere does sin seem so vile as it does there.
(W. M. Taylor, 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?