Today’s Gospel: Luke 15:1-10
Today’s Gospel is a familiar one. Tax collectors and sinners are drawing near to Jesus and the Pharisees and scribes begin to grumble against Jesus saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Jesus responds to the Pharisees and scribes by telling two parables, of the lost sheep and the lost coin. In both stories, Jesus emphasizes the search for the missing sheep and the lost coin, and the joy that comes when the missing things are found. He concludes by saying, “In just the same way, I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Now, imagine for a moment that you are one of the Pharisees. You have spent your entire life immersed in the word and law of God. You are clothed in priestly garments and hold authority in the temple. Then the interaction with Jesus takes place. What do you do? What do you say? Are you humbled or did the words of Christ anger you? Have you become too holy and too learned to realize that Christ came to save the lost? Did you realize that you need to re-orient your mission from extolling your own piety, to reaching out to those who need God the most?
Now, imagine that you are one of the sinners at the feet of Christ. You see the interaction between Jesus and the Pharisees. You hear yourself being called “a lost sheep” and “a lost coin.” You see Jesus defend you — the person — but at the same time Jesus is saying that you need to be found. He’s spending time with you, because you need to be reconciled back to God. Can you admit that you are living in sin?
Whether you’re a Pharisee or a sinner, you need to be reconciled to Christ in humility. Can you respond in humility to the words of our Savior?
A clean heart create for me, God; renew within me a steadfast spirit. Restore to me the gladness of Your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit.
Copyright 2019 Kelly Tallent
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