“Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, ‘This Man receives sinners and eats with them.’ So He spoke this parable to them…” Luke 15:1
Not only did Jesus receive the ‘sinners,’ His message attracted these people. Do our words have that kind of impact on the broken world around us? I think we are often guilty of judging the outwardly sinful from a distance, when the very words Christ spoke drew them in.
God’s forgiveness isn’t concerned with how we got lost, only getting us back. As He spoke to the sinners and the Pharisees, He was addressing two different groups of people who were lost, and the paths that led each astray were varied. But the parables He told applied to them both.
In Luke 15:8 we get the parable of the coin. Important to note: A coin doesn’t lose value because it’s lost. It has value simply because it exists. The owner of the coin actively seeks it out because it is valuable. Jesus was applying this story to people. Do we value people that way? Do I go so far as to seek out the lost out of recognition for their value?
Jesus goes into the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11. As familiar as the story is, missing a key point is easy. Neither son was tuned into his father’s heart, and each had been given his full inheritance. The father was seeking relationship with each of them. One was concerned with father’s approval; the other was not. His love was equally focused on connecting with each son.
We are to pursue the lost the way the Father pursues us. Are we actively seeking out people for whom we can demonstrate the extravagant forgiveness and love we have experienced?