January 15, 2017: SOAP #2600: Genesis 37-38; Psalm 7; Luke 15 Scripture: Luke (NIV) 15:1 Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering round to hear him. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners, and eats with them.” Observation: People generally do not gather around someone [...]

January 15, 2017: SOAP #2600: Genesis 37-38; Psalm 7; Luke 15

Scripture: Luke (NIV) 15:1 Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering round to hear him.
2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners, and eats with them.”

Observation: People generally do not gather around someone who denigrates them or puts them down. I do not think the tax collectors and 'sinners' gathered around Jesus to hear Him condemn them. He was gracious to welcome them and would go to their house for a meal.

He saved His cutting criticism for religious leaders who pretended to be one way, but in reality, were quite different. Jesus spoke truth to the 'sinners,' but He spoke it in love. He made things easy to understand. It was their choice to spend time with Him.

Application: Most sinners do not need to be told they are sinners. They need to be loved and know that God loves them. They carry the image of God. They are important.

The Holy Spirit can guide me when and how to speak about matters of holiness. But when I am prompted to speak to someone about sin, may they already know that I love them. May there be no doubt in their heart that I love them. Then may I speak truth clearly.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, you have sent me into this world to live among people who need you. Use me for their good and for your glory. Amen

Pastor Leon
Making friends for time and eternity!