Photo taken at Parks Bluff Campground near Johnson Shut ins. (Totally Recommend) http://parksbluff.com/
This morning I sat in church waiting to hear the message… The opening referred to the fact that it was an election year… (I stiffened a bit– although that was my wrongdoing). The speaker went on to note that during times of much divide within our nation, it can be a challenge create sermons for all the varying members in attendance. It was obvious from that point on that the speaker’s motive was to convey the message of Christ in an effort to edify the congregation, and he did so beautifully.
This morning the speaker addressed the story found in Luke the 15th chapter. As I titled this post ” He ate with sinners”. The religious leaders of Jesus time did not like the fact that Jesus ate with sinners. The Pharisee Simon seemed disgusted at the fact that Jesus consorted with a sinful woman during dinner in his home. The love that the sinful woman showed to Christ was more important to Jesus than what sins she had previously committed. This isn’t the only verse that reflects Jesus showing love toward those considered sinful at the time, there were many more accounts, I’ve listed a few below.
The typical take away from this lesson is that we shouldn’t look down on others, be self righteous, or unempathetic. But something nags at me that there is a bit more. Jesus made a point to spend time with those that were noted as being sinful. He ate with them. He listened to their story.
The example Christ set for us is that it is important to listen to others in a non judgmental and loving way. I don’t think that example is a coincidence. It has been my experience that the more my faith has grown, the more comfortable I have been to branch out and develop relationships with people that once might have made me uncomfortable. Through those relationships I have learned and grown as a Christian. Which is why I feel it is important to really consider a deeper meaning of why Christ himself reached out to those who weren’t considered appropriate friends at the time.
Thanks to the fellow in the pulpit this morning! I admittedly have a difficult time learning audibly, and probably fall under a clinical diagnosis of ADHD. Your sermon sparked an interest with me that caused me to study throughout the day… and I’m sure some more days in the future.
John Chapter 83 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with [his] finger wrote on the ground, [as though he heard them not].7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.9 And they which heard [it], being convicted by [their own] conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, [even] unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
Romans : 19Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
Luke 7:39-50New International Version (NIV)39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”“Tell me, teacher,” he said.41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[a] and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”Footnotes:Luke 7:41 A denarius was the usual daily wage of a day laborer (see Matt. 20:2).
Mark 2:13-17New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Calls Levi and Eats With Sinners
13 Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. 14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.
15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”