Grace Will Get You Crucified?

one-way-love-bookThey come out of the woodwork when you write of it. They challenge; some accuse. There is a great fear of this unconditional grace God gives…

Revisiting the dinner party scene of Luke 7, think for a moment about the religious onlookers and their response to Jesus’ display of mercy and grace towards the woman with her perfume.

The scene offended those who witnessed it.

It is pretty evident from the conversation recorded that Simon and his gang placed themselves in a different category morally than the intrusive guest. They also assumed Jesus must not be aware of her profession, or else, He too would have nothing to do with her.

Simon’s problem was that he thought he didn’t have a problem.

In reality, just noting, Jesus had to condescend to the same depth to enter his home as He did to receive the woman’s adoration, and doesn’t He have to do the same for every one of us?

It seems Simon’s mindset was much like the older brother in the prodigal parable. Remember his anger when his father showed compassion to his younger sibling? Simon was treating this woman the same way because in his own mind he believed he was earning God’s respect with his religious efforts in a very similar manner as the older son valued his personal worth to his father.

Grace is offensive to those who refuse to receive it, and those who refuse to receive it will always persecute its recipients.

But there is a nearer concern. Tullian Tchividjian writes, “Even those of us who have tasted the radical saving grace of God find it intuitively difficult not to put conditions on it when we try to communicate it to others – ‘Don’t take it too far; keep it balanced.’ As understandable as this hedging tendency may be, a ‘yes grace, but’ posture perpetuates slavery in our lives and in the church. Grace is radically unbalanced. It contains no but: it is unconditional, uncontrollable, unpredictable, and undomesticated – or else it is not grace.”

The grace that flowed forth to a broken woman at a dinner table that day is the very same grace that we receive, and we ought proclaim. Doug Wilson says of this type of grace,

Grace is wild. Grace unsettles everything. Grace overflows the banks. Grace messes up your hair. Grace is not tame. In fact, unless we are making the devout nervous, we are not preaching grace as we ought.

Grace, when taught as Jesus gives it brings out the worst in the legalistic, but the attempts to restrain it is not limited there only, for don’t we all contend personally against grace’s enemies. Don’t we desperately try to prove that what we contribute has some added value.

Tullian continues, “There is no way around it: God’s one-way love is deeply offensive. Frightening even. So much so that if you’re not offended by it, you probably haven’t encountered the real thing.”

The grace Jesus gives has no bartering system attached.

This type of grace leaves us no longer needing to prove anything to anyone. The woman with the perfume knew perfectly well the hostile environment she was walking into. It leaves us secured, our actions no longer weighing our worth, fully justified in God’s sight… in Christ Jesus.

It seems this grace makes us free… free indeed.

I love the author’s question then, “What are you going to do now that you don’t have to do anything?”

…and his response,

“My suspicion is that once you realize that you don’t have to do anything for God, you may find you want to do everything for Him.”

Those nail-scarred hands stretch out to us in unlikely spaces and places and we marvel at the mystery of Grace. Marilyn Gardner, The Hard Questions

About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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15 Responses to Grace Will Get You Crucified?

  1. Equipping The Saints says:

    Thank you for your like of my post on, “Meaningful Words.” You are very kind.

  2. Easter regards – Carl

  3. Not having to do anything and wanting to do everything because of it. What a great way to explain the relationship between God’s grace and humanity. It’s simultaneously one of the most beautiful things about belief, and the scariest. But it all comes back to grace and the free will to accept it.

  4. "light and salt" says:

    I like the idea that once we find we don’t (or can’t) do anything to “earn” God’s grace, we may want to do everything for Him that we can. Once we understand God gift to us, and all that had to happen on His part, we should want to devote ourselves to living for Him…

    Steve Pejay

  5. Streim says:

    Great job. I so like the reference of Luke 7 with the smug Pharisee’s dinner. I smiled all the way through the post. This comment you used: Tullian continues, “There is no way around it: God’s one-way love is deeply offensive. Frightening even. So much so that if you’re not offended by it, you probably haven’t encountered the real thing.”

  6. isaiah43123 says:

    I don’t know about you but I find myself living amongst some very unforgiving people who believe themselves to be judge and jury over everyone in their circle of influence. Yet, they seek exactly what they are not willing to give, a kindness born out of compassion.

    Keep the Faith!

    • mtsweat says:

      True… true, and how I wish I weren’t all too often that one you speak of. Hmmm… Great to see you good friend and many blessings to you today!

      • isaiah43123 says:

        I wish I weren’t speaking of myself too. Family health issues and a busy job schedule are keeping me from writing but not hmmming and jotting those thoughts to any scrap of paper available.

        Keep the Faith!

  7. RJ Dawson says:

    Grace in your face!
    Like a big can of mace!
    She forced a retrace
    Of their self-righteous pace
    By entering the place,
    And bringing disgrace,
    She returned such grace
    To the Giver of grace!

    O my religion!
    I canst bear its fall!
    Off with ye grace!
    I’d rather stand tall!
    Than be like the rabble
    Who must get small!

  8. gospelofbarney says:


  9. Excellent! I contend with this daily. Grace, amazing grace!!! Thanks

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