Monday, October 14, 2019

What Kind of a Man is This?

Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him.  And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” Luke 15:1-2
What Kind of a Man is This?
When Jesus walked this earth, He always paid attention to the lowly, outcasts, and sinners that no one else wanted anything to do with.  These were the people that had been discarded.  They had been “put away” or they were looked down upon by society.  Jesus is the Son of God, the King of Kings, yet He never disregarded a person, no matter what their social standing, race, or morals were.  He modeled for us exactly how He wants us to treat others.  He showed love and acceptance to all and wanted everyone to know that what He had to offer was for all people.  
Jesus made it clear that He came for the broken.  If you are well, you don’t need a doctor.  The problem is that sometimes we don’t think we are sick.  All of us are sinners and need what Jesus has to offer.  Until we realize that we need Him, He cannot work in our lives.  And He also wants/expects us to do the same as He did when He walked this earth.  He loved the unlovable, who are not really unlovable.  The unlovable ones were the Pharisees who believed they were perfect and sinless because they followed the law.  But they knew nothing about love and grace and mercy.  
People come to church because they want what we have.  Sometimes they come in and right away feel like they don’t belong because they are not familiar with anything that goes on in church.  They don’t know the songs, they don’t know the stories, they don’t know the traditions, and they don’t look anything like the other people there.  Maybe they haven’t even had anyone smile at them or talk to them.  This is not what Jesus would want from the church today.  He wants us to welcome everyone with open arms.  He wants everyone who comes to be made to feel loved and wanted.  He himself ate with the sinners and tax collectors and people could not understand it.  
Jesus knew what if felt like to be judged.  He knows our human tendency is to judge others because of stereotypes, customs, or prejudices. Jesus treats people as individuals, accepting them with love and compassion, not labeling and categorizing them. Do you think of certain people as lost causes, or do you see them as valuable in their own right, worthy of knowing about the gospel?
Jesus loved and ministered to everyone equally on this earth.  He was the kind of man who had the power to wipe out all our sins but also the kind of man that had compassion and love for all, a trait that some may think as weak.  Jesus was not weak.  It takes the strongest kind of man to love all and forgive all.  So, what kind of a man was this? He was the kind of person we should all strive to be, compassionate, full of grace and loving to all people.

Who is this who even forgives sins?  Luke 7:49b

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