Luke 15:1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him.
Luke 15:2 And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
Luke 15:3 So he told them this parable:
Luke 15:6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’
Luke 15:7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
Luke 15:8 “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it?
Luke 15:9 And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’
Luke 15:10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
What do both of these parables have in common? A thing was lost and there was some distress. There was work exerted to find the lost thing. A lost thing was found. They celebrated. There was much rejoicing. It was all compared to the angels celebrating in heaven when a sinner repents.
Just by not judging who His dinner guests are, Jesus is participating in the Kingdom of Heaven. Just by not hating people because of their actions, Jesus is letting people into the presence of God. Just by living His life in God and in obedience to God’s words, Jesus is showing a lot of struggling people the Way.
A lot of times we talk ourselves out of big deals like evangelism or working in the children’s ministry because we don’t know the Bible enough or we don’t like praying out loud or we don’t feel like we do a good enough job at being a Christian to do any of that.
Well by Jesus’ standards, He would totally sign you up. He would ask you to work a miracle and feed a bunch of people just moments after you were arguing with the others about who was the best. This was His method. He would embed Himself into whoever would genuinely listen to Him, and then talk loud enough that the critics could overhear it.
And look what happened.
Things (people) that were lost, caused distress. Work was exerted to find them. When they were found, they were restored. (Here is God, eating with sinners and traitors just like they were Adam and Eve in the cool of the day in Eden!)
They repented even as they were sitting at the table. Their thinking and mindset about being condemned by God was changed. They no longer felt like they had to commit various sins to gain the love, acceptance, worth, and security that they were always supposed to get from God.
And then they celebrated, and so did the angels.
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