To find out more about Gospel-Centered Bible Study go to:
We are all looking to be satisfied. If we are thirsty we drink water. If we are hungry we eat food. If we are looking for pleasure then well, we look to all kinds of things. Our desire to be satisfied is not a wrong desire. God is not frustrated with us because we have strong desires. He created us this way. God Himself has strong desires. But the question becomes, what are we going to satisfy those desires with?
There is a story in Luke 7 where Jesus is at a dinner party of a prominent Pharisee named Simon. In the middle of the party a woman comes in, who is most likely a prostitute, and she starts weeping at and on the feet of Jesus. She is sobbing and pouring out her heart because she has figured out who Jesus really is. Once she figures out who Jesus really is, she then looks at herself and begins to see who she really is and it brings her to tears of confession and repentance.
This woman had been spending her life trying to satisfy herself with things that were temporary, hurtful, immoral and empty. As she encountered Jesus she became aware that she was looking for love in all the wrong places. Jesus was the answer to what she was looking for. Jesus offered a life of love and grace and mercy that would far outweigh anything she could come up with on her own.
What’s ironic about the story is that the more the woman saw her sin the more she loved Jesus. We might think of the opposite. We might think that the more we see our sin the more Jesus is going to be angry with us. Or the more we see our sin the farther away Jesus wants to be from us. But the gospel tells us a completely different story. Jesus wants us to see our sin and run to Him. Jesus wants us to look as deep into our hearts and dig out the most heinous things we have done and then wrap our arms around His neck.
The more we see our sin, the more we will love Jesus because He has forgiven such great sinners as us.
How do we see our sin?
- Not by comparing ourselves with others. We will either think we are better and less sinful or that we are worse and less deserving of forgiveness. It’s human nature to compare ourselves with others, especially when it comes to whether we think we are good people or not.
- By looking honestly into our own hearts and search its motives and desires.
Sin is simply desiring to satisfy ourselves with something that is not God. Remember Adam and Eve in the garden?
“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.”
This was a really, really bad decision. Like the worst decision made in human history. Why? Why was it so bad? Because Adam and Eve already had been given all they could ever need and desire. They lived in paradise. But they thought they could come up with something better than what God had given them.
We think we can come up with all kinds of better things than God can. We are not satisfied with what we have.
We are not satisfied with the job we have
We are not satisfied with the car we drive
We are not satisfied with the spouse we have
We are not satisfied with the body type we have
We are not satisfied with the emotions we have
We are not satisfied with the health we have
So we search for something better. For a job with more money, a car that won’t break down as much, a diet that will change our appearance, we try to relieve our anxiety and depression with numbing substances, we shake our fist at God for giving us cancer or some debilitating illness.
Listen, I need to tell you a secret. So listen really closely. It’s something you may not have thought about yet. This is something that you have been fooled into believing.
We are all looking for something that will truly satisfy us when in reality, if you are a believer you have already been given what is truly most satisfying. We are looking for what we think is the blessing of God in the form of good health, meaningful relationships, a balanced bank account, stress-free living, but the truth is that Christ is our all in all. Our relationship with Christ alone is our satisfaction.
Jesus wants your sin. Jesus wants to take your sin and utterly destroy it for you. Jesus wants to take your sin and give you forgiveness. That’s called grace. What will naturally happen is that we will fall in love with Jesus more and more and that is exactly what He wants to happen.
But, if we don’t see our sin, if we hide it away, if we pretend it doesn’t exist then we miss out on seeing and receiving the extravagant love that Jesus has for us.
Remember the verse in 1 John 4:19 that says, “We love because He (Jesus) first loved us?”
That is what is happening here with the woman. She sees the love of Jesus for her first. She senses and realizes who He is, what He has come to do and she is overwhelmed by His love. In return, she offers up to Jesus her regrettable life, full of all its grievous sins. Her sins are her love offering. And Jesus gladly takes them. As uncomfortable as the situation was, with her crying and wiping His feet with her hair, Jesus accepts it. Jesus receives her love offering for what it was, genuine remorse for sin, and heart that was open to His life-transforming power.
True satisfaction in life only comes through Jesus, nothing else will quench our thirst.
As John Piper has most famously said,
“God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”
And God satisfies us with the love, grace and mercy of his Son Jesus. Turn to him, he is the gospel, and we all know, its the gospel that changes everything!