Welcoming Sinners

Luke 15:1-10:

Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So to them he addressed this parable. “What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance. “Or what woman having ten coins and losing one would not light a lamp and sweep the house, searching carefully until she finds it? And when she does find it, she calls together her friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.’ In just the same way, I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”


Jesus has a strong reputation for seeking out the lost and forgotten in this world – the meek and the humble; and, the sinners.  If we consider that Jesus could have chosen anyone to be His Apostles, it’s staggering (in today’s world of “Dream Teams”, corporate elites, and celebrities) that the Group He assembled included everyday Fishermen, a Tax Collector, and a Thief.  He didn’t choose the Chief Priest, the King of Judah, or a Roman Official to bring notoriety and credibility to His earthly Ministry.  No, He chose ordinary Folks (and Sinners) just like you and I.  And, not only did He choose these Sinners (at the time), but He usually hung around vast crowds of Sinners.  You see, Jesus’ Ministry wasn’t about Him, it was about His Father and, as the Shepherd of God’s Flock on earth, it is Jesus’ Mission to bring as many of us lost sheep back into the fold.  So, when we find ourselves sinning on earth, let’s remember to be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10). God whispers in a “still small Voice” to us, because He is always close to us whispering (see 1 Kings 19:12) His Message of Love, Hope, and Repentance.  All that we need to do in this life is to simply follow His Voice back to the Flock.

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