“Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.””
Matthew 9:10-13 NKJV
Jesus came into the world for humble, the broken, the sinner, and those who have been forgotten. He did not come to the “good people”, but to those who are sick with sin. He did not sit a far off, waiting for them to come to Him, but instead, He risked reputation to go to them.
In Matthew, we see Jesus sitting down to eat with tax collectors and sinners, the lowest of the low. The religious authorities had no concern for those lost and in need of a Savior, for their God was their belly and they had long ago lost sight of the Spirit of God.
They mocked Jesus for His willingness to be seen with those who are unseemly, Jesus came to heal the sick, those who needed the touch of the Great Physician.
From the humility of His birth, to the brutality of His death, He sought those beyond the pale, outside of what was considered respectable.
Our culture in America has been sorted into enemy camps, with people divided, one from the other, all human, all needing salvation, but placed in opposition. Those of us who have been saved by the blood of the Lamb have been made peacemakers by Jesus. We have a story of redemption, of lives transformed and souls saved.
“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”
II Corinthians 5:18-19 NKJV
We have been made Christ’s ambassadors, dead people made alive, to go and tell those dead ion trespasses and sins, that there is a different way. We are not there to cast judgement, for that will come in due time. We are called to bring the message of God’s love and His judgement, emphasizing that Jesus came to earth to pay the sin debt, and that through Him, judgement can be taken away.
We go into the world as new creations, having new hearts, and looking at others through the eyes of Christ.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
II Corinthians 5:17 NKJV
Among the things that have passed away are the bias of our hearts. We must no longer harbor racial hatred, if we are of God. We no longer hold biases that inhibit our ability to go and tell. We are no longer imprisoned by those sins that previous held us in bondage, but we have been freed. Likewise, we have not forgotten that were once imprisoned, thinking more of ourselves as we ought. We go forward as humble servants.
Sinless Jesus sat down with sinners, bringing the remedy for the malady of sin that had infected them. He came to call sinners to repentance.
Brothers and sisters, we each have a story, as we were all something else. Some of us were thieves of money or time, sexually immoral, people trapped in the sin of sorcery, using drugs to dull ourselves into painless oblivion. We were all sinners, caught up in any number of bad behaviors. Others of us have been entrapped by spiritual pride, the worst of the sins.
“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”
I Corinthians 6:9-11 NKJV
Let us endeavor to look at those the Lord sends us to, through the eyes of Jesus, looking past who they are now, and forward to who they could be, once they have been saved and transformed. I think we spend too much time focusing on the sinful state of sinners, forgetting that they are hopeless to not sin.
Let us focus on the fact that they need a Savior and tell them about Jesus.
God is showing us in a multitude of ways that time is short. It is time be about the Father’s business and reach those who have not heard the Gospel.
The sun os going down my people, and soon it will dark. Let us leave the light on, that many may come near to see.