Much Forgiven — Much Loved
“Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.” (Mark 16:9)
Those who are forgiven most love most (Luke 7:36-50). The first one who came to the Savior’s tomb was Mary Magdalene. The history of this faithful woman is not given in any detail in the Word of God. We only know that she was one out of whom the Lord had cast “seven devils”. Mary had been possessed of the devil and wasted her life serving him, until the Lord Jesus saved her by His grace. From that day on, Mary was always by His side, following Him, hanging on His every word, and observing His wondrous works.
It was this woman, if I am not mistaken, who anointed the Lord Jesus in the house of Simon the leper. The Master was referring to her when he asked Simon, “Who will love most?” He was referring to her when He said, “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, [the same] loveth little” (Luke 7:47).
Mary’s gratitude to our Lord for His deliverance of her soul from the clutches of hell and for His forgiveness of her sins was a gratitude that knew no bounds. Of all our Lord’s followers on earth, none seem to have loved Him so much as Mary Magdalene. None felt that they owed so much to the Savior. None felt so strongly that there was nothing too great to do for Christ and nothing too costly to sacrifice for Him. Mary was the last at the cross and the first at the sepulcher. Mary arose early and came to the tomb while it was still dark. Having been forgiven much, she loved much. Having received much, she loved much; and loving much, she did much, constrained only by a heart of love for and gratitude to her Savior.
The more fully and more deeply we are aware of our depravity and sin, the more we will cherish our Savior and the forgiveness of our sins by His blood. To whom much is forgiven, the same love much.
Why do so many who profess to be the Lord’s disciples do so little for the Savior whose name they bear? How is it that many whose faith in Christ we cannot and should not question work so little, give so little, say so little, take so little pains to promote Christ’s cause and bring glory to Christ in the world? Why are there so many who know the grace of God in truth that do so little to make the grace of God known to others? There is only one answer to those questions. — It is a low sense of debt and gratitude to Christ that makes saved sinners indifferent to the worship and service of our Redeemer.
Where sin is not deeply and painfully felt, little is done for Christ. The person who is deeply conscious of his own guilt and corruption, and deeply convinced that without the blood, the death, the grace, and the intercession of Christ he would sink forever into the lowest hell, that is the person who will spend and be spent for the Savior. That is the person who thinks, “I can never do enough for my Redeemer.”
Spirit of God, make me such a person! Give me Mary’s sense of indebtedness, gratitude, and love for “the Son of God Who loved me and gave Himself for me!” Show me more of myself! Show me more of Christ! Show me more of God’s amazing grace to me in Him!
Then, only then, can we begin to understand what the Apostle Paul meant when he said, — “The love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And [that] he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15).
“Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee!”
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