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Unconditional Love – December 17th, 2023

Dr. Rob White - December 17, 2023

Unconditional Love

June 10th, 2018
When Jesus forgives our sins and gives us new life, we become giddy with gratitude.
Scripture Text: Luke 7:36-8:3
A sermon by Rev. Dr. Rob White for Athens Universal Life Church

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In a powerful sermon rooted in Luke 7:36-8:3, the theme of unconditional love takes center stage. The narrative begins with a Pharisee, Simon, inviting Jesus to a banquet. The scene takes an unexpected turn when a woman known for her sins enters, demonstrating a profound act of love by washing Jesus’ feet with her tears, wiping them with her hair, and anointing them with fragrant oil.

The Pharisee, skeptical of Jesus’ prophethood, questions why Jesus would allow such a woman to touch him. In response, Jesus tells a parable about forgiveness, illustrating that those forgiven much will love much. The woman’s extravagant love stems from the immense forgiveness she has received from Jesus, contrasting with Simon’s lack of hospitality and love.

The sermon draws a parallel with the story of Don Quixote and Dulcinea, emphasizing that love transforms and makes us better. Like the fictional character who sees beyond a woman’s coarse exterior, Jesus looks beyond societal labels, offering forgiveness and helping individuals see their potential for goodness.

This transformative love extends beyond the forgiven woman to other women in the narrative. Luke 8:1-3 mentions women healed by Jesus, including Mary Magdalene and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward. These women, transformed by Jesus’ love, reciprocate by serving and supporting Jesus and his disciples from their possessions.

The preacher reflects on the impactful role of women in Christian history, acknowledging their crucial contributions in supporting missions, aiding the needy, and fostering Christian fellowship. While society may have considered their roles subordinate, the sermon contends that their support was not demeaning but essential.

The message concludes with a universal invitation to embrace Christ’s love, highlighting its potential to change lives, regardless of age, gender, or social status. Christ’s love, the sermon asserts, can multiply our offerings, be they small or great, transforming both hearts and resources for the greater good.

In essence, the sermon illuminates the profound impact of unconditional love, emphasizing that forgiveness and acceptance have the power to change lives. By drawing parallels between biblical narratives and relatable stories, the preacher skillfully communicates a timeless message of love’s transformative potential, inspiring readers to reflect on their own capacity for forgiveness and kindness.

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