Jesus says these words at a meal with Simon the Pharisee when a woman shows up and begins washing Jesus’ feet with her hair and tears and anointing his feet with oil. What this woman does is unseemly, awkward, strange, and Jesus calls it love.
It is easy to forget that we serve the God who loves to save sinners and therefore He loves simple obedience from the heart. In fact, He loves halting, tripping, fumbling, awkward obedience from a full heart more than He loves astute, organized, proper, well-mannered, and well-executed obedience out of sheer grit-your-teeth duty. God would rather hot dogs with hearts of joy than fine wine with a critical spirit. God would rather simple songs with true and loyal hearts than complex harmonies with fussy hearts.
Now, people say this is and immediately start justifying their apathy and laziness. That’s why we don’t spend much on Christmas. That’s why don’t do family vacations. That’s why we only eat hot dogs.
But here’s the deal: that’s a bad attitude. God loves it when we give him our best from full hearts. The widow gave all that she had, and that was more than some who gave more money. But the point isn’t to settle for two mites, and the point isn’t to try to figure out how much would equal a really full heart, as though love can be added up like that.
The point that Jesus makes is that when you know how horribly you’ve sinned, when you know how shameful you have been, how guilty you were, and how costly God’s grace was, it hits you like a ton of bricks. You don’t care what it looks like. You don’t care what anyone thinks. You’re like that leper in the gospel who seeing that he’s been cleansed turns back, glorifying God with a loud voice and falling at Jesus’ feet, giving Him thanks.
It’s that heart that Jesus loves. He wants that heart helping with the dishes, that heart cleaning up your bedroom, that heart teaching and disciplining your children, that heart interacting with your unbelieving neighbors.
You’ve been forgiven so much. So go, and love much.