Recently at my church, we’ve been talking about how God sees us as “5”s. (In Japan, a perfect grade in a report card is a “5,” similar to an “A” in western culture.)
In other words, God looks at your “report card”, and says, “I accept you. I love you. You are of highest value to me.”
But what makes us a “5”? And how does a “5” think?
The Jewish elders, the Pharisees, and Simon thought this way: “If a person does a lot of good things, he is worthy of God’s love and blessing in their lives.” The Jewish elders thought this of the centurion (verses 4-5). The Pharisees (30) and Simon (39, 44-46) thought this of themselves.”
But that’s not the thinking of a true “5.”
How does a true “5” think?
They remember they are broken people. They understand that nothing they do makes them worthy of God’s love or blessing. The realize they have no special “qualifications” that make them worthy to receive anything from God.
So they come with humility before God. And at the same time they come with confidence that God will accept them. Not because of who they are or what they’ve done. But because of who God is.
And because of the grace they have received, they are filled with gratefulness.
These are the things you see in the centurion, the people who received John’s baptism, and most clearly in the woman who anointed Jesus.
Is that how you think?
Or are you like the Simon and the other Pharisees who felt they “deserved” God’s blessing? Who took Jesus lightly because they didn’t see the depth of their sin and their need for grace?
Or are you like many Christians today who think they have to earn their “5” status with God and get discouraged because they always fall short?
Let us think like true “5”s, and let us come before Jesus with humility, confidence that he will accept us, and deep gratefulness for his love, forgiveness, and grace.