Tale of Two Craters



As you look at the sketch below, consider the radical differences in these two craters. While they are both about the same size, Eratosthenes is very prominent while Stadius seems hidden in the background—barely discernible if the light conditions are not right. One has to work at studying Stadius to see its boundaries while the boundaries of Eratosthenes are sharp. Yet both are clearly craters in their own right and had to have been created with somewhat equivalent force since their sizes to be comparable. Because of the vast differences in features, Eratosthenes gets lots of attention from observers but Stadius is virtually ignored. It is also called a ‘ghost’ crater—an appropriate name.



When I sketched these two craters that have a radically different appearance, I remembered when Jesus taught a lesson at a dinner. A Pharisee called Simon had invited him. Simon was a prominent man with respect to the way men are graded by power or importance. During the meal a woman, who had lived a sinful life in the town, made an unexpected visit. She not only had no comparable reputation, her reputation for a life of sin was an object of disdain. She went and stood behind Jesus—weeping, wetting his feet with her tears. She kissed his feet, wiped them with her hair, and poured perfume on them. Simon was inwardly dismayed in view of her low position.

Jesus proceeds to show him a picture of the difference in her actions and his. She had put her faith in Jesus and demonstrated whole-hearted and dramatic love, because Jesus could cancel her debt of sin. Simon, on the other hand, had been typically cordial and hospitable but had not demonstrated anything of the sort. Jesus closes the discussion with a statement that resounds to this day: “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.” If you read the passage, Jesus makes these comments facing her—speaking directly to her, which is dramatic in front of the important people, who were eating with Jesus. He goes further: he absolves her of sin directly, tells her that her faith has saved her, and bids her to go in peace.

Just like the disparity in the visual appearance of the two craters is pronounced, where the ‘ghost’ crater is nearly ignored, the woman would have received little attention except that Jesus brings a different (and correct) view of the matter.

God has not changed. If we choose to believe in Jesus Christ, calling upon him with our whole heart, he forgives us and changes us–placing peace in the inner parts. We can walk forth in peace.

Scripture reference:     Luke 7:36-50

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