Jesus continued to draw large crowds as His ministry continued. Now more than ever before, it seems the tax collectors and sinners drew nearer to Him to hear what He had to say. This of course raised the hackles on the Pharisees, who grumbled about such a scandalous thing – a supposed man of God consorting openly with those who were known to be living contrary to God’s word.
Jesus acknowledged their sentiment toward the subject, but did not validate it. Instead he offers the parables of the lost sheep and of the lost coin. He asks if any of them who had 100 sheep would not leave the 99 in search of one that was lost. And he spoke of the joy the woman would have over finding the lost coin. He tells them that there is more joy in heaven over one sinner repenting than for 99 righteous people who “need no repentance.”
It was no accident that everywhere Jesus went, He attracted such people because that was what He intended to do. In Matthew 18:14, Jesus made it clear, speaking of children , that “it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” But he said it in the context of the parable of the lost sheep in that passage. In the last chapter, Jesus told the parable of the man who gave the great banquet, and eventually sent his servant out “into the streets and the lanes,” bringing those that others have excluded to the banquet (Luke 14:21).
Jesus was doing just that. The tax collectors and the sinners that the Pharisees disdained here are the people who have been excluded in their own way. God wanted Jesus to find and save those people, and bring them to the feast. We do well to remember that Jesus said many times that he had “not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32). These are people that we too are supposed to love enough to want to help them to be saved.
(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.