Jesus Receiveth Sinners
1. Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. It is instructive to note that the verse above immediately follows Jesus' teaching on discipleship within which he says:
...whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
There was something about the plain words of Jesus that struck at the heart of these publicans and sinners and caused them to draw closer in order to hear more. Many people in this world grow weary of the devil's lies when he says that nothing is certain and that we cannot know the truth. I was such a person.
2. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.
When people are being drawn to God by his word, the devil will attempt to discredit his word. Often, he uses prominent "religious" people to do so. Some people are fooled by this, but for those who truly desire to know God's truth, God's words expose the devil's cruel teachings for what they are, and they show us that God's words are motivated by his love and compassion for us. Such a person is drawn closer still. Read on....
3. And he spake this parable unto them, saying,
4. What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
5. And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
6. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
7. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
God came into this world and plainly said that we are all justly condemned by our sin and that the end of this sin is an eternal fiery existence without him. He said this so that we would be drawn to him and receive his free gift of salvation. He said this because he loves us. Many listen to the devil's lies and reject God’s gift of eternal life made possible through the death of his Son on the cross. Are you drawing closer to God because you have heard his plain words and want to know more? Do not let the devil fool you. Have you come to God and received his free gift of eternal life through faith in Christ and repentance of your sin? Then serve him with all of your heart.