Both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” – Luke 15:2
The Pharisees are grumbling against Jesus because He received sinners. What an irony this is! The glorious truths of grace that they opposed were the words they unconsciously stated, “He eats with sinners.” He welcomes sinners. They see it as a criticism but it’s actually a glorious affirmation of what His Father called Him to do. They condemn the thing that is His special delight.
You know, the sinful mind always deems evil good and good evil. As our culture plunges into unbiblical and godless liberalism, those who are trying to do good from a God-defined perspective will be defined as those who are evil. Then those who promote and exalt themselves and celebrate wickedness are applauded as those who do good. That’s what is happening here. They condemn Jesus because He receives sinners. Yet He’s not just receiving them, but He’s calling them to repentance. Now, we don’t want to let the liberals put their own twist on “how” Jesus received sinners, which they try so hard to do today, but He did receive them, AND called them to repent!
The beautiful thing is, not only does Jesus receive sinners and save them, He allows sinners to receive Him. He’s their source of eternal salvation. Both of these truths were held in the highest contempt by the religious leaders of the day.
He received all kinds of sinners. He received the rich, Joseph of Arimathea; He received the poor, Lazarus the beggar; He received the learned, Dionysius the Areopagite; He received physicians, Luke; He received soldiers, the Roman centurion at the cross; He received common fishermen, Peter and his brother; He received extortioners, Zaccheus and other tax collectors; He received thieves, the dying thief; He received harlots, the woman who was a sinner and repented and washed his feet with her hair; He received adulterers, the woman at the well in Samaria; He received persecutors and murderers, Saul of Tarsus; He received those possessed of devils, the man called Legion; He received backsliders, the Apostle Peter; He received executives and business folks, Lydia who sold purple; and on and on we could go.
“Thus I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will chase after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” And they did so. – Exodus 14:4 Listen, the goal...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
At the dinner hour he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, “Come; for everything is ready now.” But they all alike began to make excuses. – Luke 14:17-18 The invitation has been sent. Think about that phrase...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! – Galatians 1:9 I recently shopped at an outlet mall here in the United States. These malls have...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
And at the dinner hour he sent to his slave to say to those who had been invited, “Come, for everything is ready now.” – Luke 14:17 These were to come to the table that God had spread. They are to come to the food that He...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming. – Ephesians 4:14 One way Satan will use trickery and...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Say to them, “As I live!” declares the Lord God. “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
And He said to them, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I reach My goal.’” – Luke 13:32 Was Jesus unloving and without compassion when He...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Scripture teaches that sometimes God brings difficult things to bear in our lives. He may bring tragedies, heartaches, even crises. Look, God is over all things, but here’s my point. Sometimes He brings these things to the end of chastening...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence. – Colossians 2:23 Any true long-term legalist...[ abbreviated | read entire ]