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Love That Attracts Sinners

John Collins03/11/2012Luke 15 tells how the words of Jesus and his message of Love attracted the publicans and sinners to hear the words that He spoke.

The Pharisees and scribes did not like this one bit; they started speaking quietly among themselves about how Jesus received sinners and ate with them.  Jesus knew what they were saying, and gave them this example:

Which of you, having a hundred sheep, and lose one of them, do not leave the ninety-nine sheep in the wilderness to go after the one that is lost?  And when you find it, do not rejoice with your friends and neighbors, saying, "Rejoice with me!  I have found my sheep that was lost!"

He said to them, the same is the joy in heaven whenever one sinner repents.  More joy than over ninety-nine that are just and need no repentance.

Jesus gave another example of a woman that had ten pieces of sliver.  If she loses one piece, she lights a candle, sweeps the house, and searches diligently until she finds it.  Once she finds it, she rejoices with her friends and neighbors.  He said that the same joy is spread through the angels of God whenever one sinner repents.

Finally, He gave an example of a father and his two sons.  The younger one said, "Father, give me the portion that is allotted to me," and the father divided the portion to his son.

Not long afterwards, the younger son went to a far off country, and wasted his inheritance with sinful living and harlots.  When he had spent everything, the land was consumed with famine, and the son was in need.  He became a citizen of that country so that he could work, and started tending the hogs in the mud.  So hungry from the famine, he would have even eaten the husks that the hogs ate, yet no man gave him any food.

When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, "How many hired servants of my father's house has enough bread to spare?  Yet I am dying from hunger!"  He said, "I will arise and go back to my father's house."  I have sinned against God and my father, and am no longer worthy to be called his son, but will ask that I be made one of his hired servants.

He went back to his father, but before he was near, his father saw him and had great compassion on him.  He ran, and greeted him with a kiss.  When the son told him his story, he expected his father to be upset.

Instead, his father sent for his servants to bring his best robe, jewelry, and shoes for his feet.  He told them to bring the largest calf and prepare it for dinner, so they could eat and be merry.  They celebrated over his return.

When the older son heard the music and dancing, he went to the servants to ask what was going on.  They told him that his brother had returned, and the father had prepared a meal to celebrate his safe return.

The older son was angry.  He refused to go in to celebrate.  Therefore, his father went out to speak with him, and pleaded with him to come in.  The older son argued, "All these years I served you perfectly.  At no time did I even break one of your rules, and yet you never even gave me a baby goat to celebrate!  But as soon as my brother came home, who I remind you was living with harlots, you gave him the fatted calf!"

The father replied to him, "Son, you are always with me.  Everything I have is yours.  It was to make your brother welcome, because he was once dead but now lives again.  He was once lost, but now he is found."

As Christians, we should ask ourselves:  Do we preach a message that will attract the sinners to become closer to God?  Would we even receive them when they come into our churches?  Do we preach to the sinners, or do we preach to the saints?  If one of the saints goes astray, do we try to help them, or do we shun them, telling other saints not to associate with them?  If they come back, are they received with open arms?  Or do we speak against them in private for all of the things they have done?  Do we have the Love that Jesus describes in Luke 14?