Sick of Religion? Week 3: Devotional Day 4
DAY 4 – Thursday
Mark 2:15-16; Matt 9:10-11; Luke 15
What was Jesus doing dining with these people? How do we see the “one”?
The scandal of all scandals: Jesus was a friend of sinners.
Notice the scripture in Mark 2:15 – it says, “And it happened that He was reclining at the table in his (Levi’s) house, and many tax collectors and sinners were dining with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many of them, and they were following Jesus.” (Emphasis mine).
Soo many of them! Jesus had a disproportionate priority for the lost.
In Luke 15, Jesus, while dining with tax collectors and sinners, tells a parable so that his outer audience, the Pharisees and scribes, could hear. The parable was about a man who has a hundred sheep and has lost one. The man leaves the 99 and goes to find the one and when it is found there is rejoicing. In verse 7 Jesus says: “I tell you in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous persons who need no repentance.”
What does it take to leave the 99 and go out and find the one? (Because we are called to do the same thing.) Does it take a degree in theology? Does it take being a missionary? Does it take time and effort? Is it costly? Is it annoying? I ask you these questions because I am curious how you see the “lost one”? Is it someone else’s problem? Hard questions, aren’t they?
This last year I became involved in Alpha. If you have never explored Alpha can I take a moment to encourage you to check it out at alphausa.org? Alpha is a vehicle to allow people to explore faith through the lens of the gospel. Our church has a place of hospitality for people to come and ask questions with no bait-and-switch. It is not a Bible study. It is a trust-building space built on the gospel that is revitalizing the Church. It is a place for a believer to learn to be an authentic listener to the many voices grappling over what they’ve heard and not force a conclusion.
Each one of us at Chapel Hill can be involved in evangelism through this vehicle called Alpha. It has taught me to listen quietly. It has rekindled my faith watching how the Holy Spirit works. It has reminded me of my own journey with Jesus. It has reminded me of the reckless love Jesus has for us!
Might this be a next step for you too?