I gotta confess, and those of you who know me well know this about me already, but I LOVE sarcasm. Probably too much. I realize sarcasm can be hurtful if it used in the wrong way. I have no doubt I have used it in that way before. I don't use it as much as I once did, so I am trying to do better. But sarcasm can be used in a way that gets people to see something that they may not have seen before, and I think that is a good use of sarcasm.
Jesus must have believed that, because He used it from time to time. My favorite example of Jesus's sarcasm is in Luke 7 when Jesus is at the home of Simon the Pharisee. You know the story.........Simon is offended because Jesus is letting this woman who is a "sinner" kiss His feet, and then wash his feet with both tears and perfume. Simon never said anything to Jesus about it, but Jesus knew what was going on in Simon's mind. Jesus then told him the parable about two men having debts to a moneylender, one great and one small, and having those debts cancelled. He asked the simple but deep question: "Now which of them loved him more?"
Simon answered correctly, and somewhat sheepishly: "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt cancelled
." Jesus told him he was correct. Then Jesus pointed out to Simon how the woman has smothered him with love from the second she had been with him, and how Simon had done NOTHING. He concluded his remarks about her by saying "Her many sins have been forgiven.....for she loved much".
If the story had ended there, it would have been a great story.........right? Ah, but it doesn't, and it gets even better. Jesus puts on his sarcasm hat, and really zings Simon. Jesus says:"But he who has been forgiven little loves little
". Have you ever been forgiven "LITTLE"? Do you have any LITTLE struggles? Forgiveness is ALWAYS big, and never "LITTLE"! That is the only way God knows how to do it, because He loves us so so much. Jesus, God in the flesh, only forgave big when He was on the earth. It's impossible to be forgiven little! The Pharisees were arrogant folks, and Simon was one of them. In his mind, he had no need for God's forgiveness.........or if he did, it was very "LITTLE". Jesus knew Simon felt that way about himself. Because of Simon's arrogance and self-righteousness, he didn't have the ability to love anybody...........not even Jesus. Oh he probably loved one person, himself. But he knew in his heart of hearts how sinful he was, and that he had been forgiven BIG.......even if outwardly he acted like he had "little" to be forgiven of. It had to zing him. It has to zing us.
Do you want to be able to love? Then you better acknowledge how much YOU have been loved and forgiven! I don't know that I can prove it, but I believe with all my heart the same principle applies to grace. If you are not a grace giving person, you probably have never acknowledged how in need of grace you are........and how God smothered you with His grace.
I wonder how sarcasm affected Simon? I wonder how it sits with you and me?
In closing, let me ask our fellowship or movement............are we known for our outpouring of grace and love for other believers? See, that is who Simon was with.......another believer......and he wasn't loving her very well. Is withholding fellowship an expression of love and grace? Of course it isn't. We for sure at times have been like Simon, and been guilty of loving "little". Why? Maybe because we had the heart of Simon..............a heart of self-righteousness and arrogance.
God help us to not need His sarcasm to realize that.
May we seek to have the heart of the sinful woman. "For she loved much