Unexpected Grace

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Original photo of statue in People’s Park in Talisay, Philippines by The Wandering Angel 

Daily Reformation, Luke 7:36-50

From the Reformer

“And those who sat at table with him began to say within themselves…” Hence we again learn, that ignorance of Christ’s office constantly leads men to conceive new grounds of offense. The root of the evil is that no one examines his own wretched condition, which undoubtedly would arouse every man to seek a remedy. There is no reason to wonder that hypocrites, who slumber amidst their vices, should murmur at it as a thing new and unexpected, when Christ forgives sins.

“Thy faith hath saved thee…” To repress those murmurings, and, at the same time, to confirm the woman, Christ commends her faith. Let others grumble as they may, but do thou adhere steadfastly to that faith which has brought thee an undoubted salvation.

—John Calvin, Commentary on Matthew, Mark, Luke

Pulling It Together

The mission of Jesus is to bring humanity into right relationship with both its Creator and each other. This is illustrated in the story of the lawyer who tried to bamboozle Jesus. “‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ [Jesus] said to him, ‘What is written in the Law? How do you read it?’ And he answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’ And [Jesus] said to him, ‘You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.'” (Luke 10:25-28)

No matter how often we try to trick God, he dupes us instead by doing the completely unexpected. He forgives us and calls us to forgive one another. He loves us and bids us to do the same. He is precisely what we want, who we need, and what we nevertheless find so difficult to believe. He is unexpected grace. Believe.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers

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