“…for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.”
Jesus Receives Sinners
“This man receives sinners and eats with them” (Luke 15:1-10). This statement of judgment against Jesus by the Pharisees is in fact a proclamation of Gospel truth. For our God is one who delights in mercy, who casts all our sins into the depths of the sea through the cross (Micah 7:18-20). “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim 1:12-17). Those who refuse to be counted as sinners also refuse Jesus who came only for sinners. Those like the older son (Luke 15:11-32) who think they are righteous of themselves will not join in the heavenly celebration over the sinner who repents and so remain outside of the Father’s house. Let us therefore be on guard against self-righteously trusting in our own merits. “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6-11). Rejoice that Jesus receives sinners like us and that He still sits at table with us in the Holy Supper, bestowing His forgiveness and life.