Wednesday, June 18, 2014

notorious sinners

Mark 2

13 Then Jesus went out to the lakeshore again and taught the crowds that were coming to him.

14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at his tax collector's booth.

        "Follow me and be my disciple," Jesus said to him.

So Levi got up and followed him.

  15 Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests,

        along with many tax collectors and other notorious sinners.

        (There were many people of this kind among Jesus' followers.)

16 But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples,

       "Why does he eat with such scum?"

  17 When Jesus heard this, he told them,

        "Healthy people don't need a doctor—sick people do.

         I have come to call not those who think they are righteous,

        but those who know they are sinners."

I've often wondered what it took to be a "notorious sinner" back then.

Of course, I think our world is sufficiently wicked right now to say we've produced some pretty wicked people.

I think the important fact is that these "notorious sinners" wanted to be around Jesus.

Iow, there was a quality about Jesus in His connection with people that even those who had "hearts that were black with sin" (as some super Christians LOVE to say) - I digress - people who were pretty sinful wanted to be around Jesus...

        ...and Jesus wanted to be around them.

Jesus went so far as to say that He had come specifically for those kind of people, not the upright & holy church folks.

Don't you know that dropped a clod in the punch bowl of the church folks?!

My question is this...

Are you & I so connected with Jesus that His personality & heart naturally comes out in our personality & dealings with people that the "notorious sinners" around us WANT to be around us...

        ...and that we WANT to be around them?

Are we so kind, loving, caring, interested, & compassionate toward people that they WANT to be around us.

Or are we so ever lovin' "holy" that we don't want to be around such folks, nor would they want to be around us?

Where would we each be if the people who influenced us to become Christ followers had had the same attitude we have about hanging around sinful people?

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