“And he said to the woman; your faith has saved you; go in peace” (Luke ch7 v50).
What is the meaning of “your faith has saved you”?
The same phrase turns up in other stories in the gospels.
It gets disguised in the translation “has made you well”, because the healing of malady is one of the ways in which faith may “save”.
As when Jesus met the ten lepers, who asked him to have mercy on them.
He told them to show themselves to a priest.
To the one who recognised that he was healed already, and came back to praise God, he said “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well”
(Luke ch17 v19).
To the blind man who made the same appeal on the outskirts of Jericho, he said “Receive your sight; you faith has made you well” (Luke ch18
And again to the woman who had a haemorrhage, who touched him in the middle of the crowd;
“Your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease” (Mark ch5 v34).
In each case, the wording is HE PISTIS SOU SESOKEN SE- your faith has saved you.
But the healing power of faith doesn’t just work on physical ailments.
We see that in the story of the paralytic man who was lowered through the roof of the house where Jesus was teaching (Matthew ch9 vv1-6).
In this case, the faith of the people who brought the man was enough.
Jesus saw their faith and was ready to heal the man.
But he began with the words “Your sins are forgiven”.
The implication is that unforgiven sin was the malady at the root of the paralysis.
The man needed to be saved from one, before he could be saved from the other.
This brings us back to the woman in that first quotation.
She was “ a woman of the city, who was a sinner”.
Her need was, or had been, not physical healing, but forgiveness.
Luke tells us that Jesus had been invited to share a meal at the house of a Pharisee (ch7 vv36-50).
The woman came in, weeping, with a flask of ointment.
Her tears wet his feet, she wiped them with her hair, and then she anointed them with the ointment.
(I assume that the anointing was the intended act. Having to wipe them first was the accidental effect of the weeping.)
The Pharisee looked on, superciliously, making a mental observation based on the assumption that she was a sinner.
Jesus noticed that thought, and set about putting him right.
He began with a little parable and a question.
The Pharisee willingly admitted that a man who had been forgiven a very large debt would be more grateful to his creditor, would feel more love, than
a man who had been forgiven a smaller debt.
Then Jesus applied the moral, by comparing the way the two people had been treating him.
The Pharisee had not given Jesus the standard affectionate greeting, he had not extended the usual courtesy of allowing the guest to wash his feet.
Jesus contrasted that with what the woman had been doing.
Her conduct was a symptom of intense love, her love was a measure of her immense gratitude, and her gratitude showed the scale of the sin which had
(If the Pharisee was grateful that his sins had been forgiven, he must have thought they were small ones.)
The usual translations of his conclusion can be a little misleading;
“Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much” (v47).
This seems to imply that “she loved much” is explaining why
“her sins are forgiven”.
In fact “for she loved much” is really following on from and explaining the observation “her sins are many”, as shown by the contrasting words
which follow; “he who has been forgiven little, loves little”.
If the scope of her forgiven sin had been smaller, then her love would have been small as well, and the effects would have been less obvious.
That was the point of his remarks, from the beginning; her loving conduct was the outcome and the measure of her forgiveness, not its cause.
The implication is that she was fully conscious, when she came into the room, that her sins had been forgiven.
Her tears were not tears of repentance, or not just repentance.
They were tears of gratitude.
“And he said to her; Your sins are forgiven” (v48).
Again, this is a little misleading, because he’s describing a completed act; “Your sins have been
The message is not “I am now
forgiving your sins, as a reward for what you have just done”.
The message is “Your sins were forgiven before you arrived here, and your loving treatment of me shows that you knew that already.
I now confirm the fact, if only for the benefit of those who are listening”.
“Your faith has saved you; go in peace”.
Her assurance that her sins had been forgiven would have come from the teaching of Jesus (“Repent and believe in the gospel”).
Therefore it would have rested upon her faith in the authority of Jesus to speak as the emissary of God.
That is how her faith
“Has saved you”;
Her sin and her consciousness of sin, between them, had been an obstacle in her relationship with God.
The forgiveness of her sin had removed that obstacle.
That was how her faith had saved
“Go in peace”;
This is not just about leaving the house without being molested.
He means that she is entering into a new life of “Peace”.
The true peace, to wit, which consists of an unhindered, right relationship with God.
So that is the gospel message of the New Testament, summed up in a single story.
By our faith in Christ, as coming from God, we are saved from our sin, through the knowledge that our sin has been forgiven, and we may thereby enter
into a new and unhindered relationship with our God.
edit on 1-4-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)