Read Luke 15
Every time I read these parables I find myself indignantly siding with Jesus against the Pharisees. They look down on Him for hanging out with “sinners” and even sharing a meal with them. How could these religious leaders think that? They know God’s Word and how Israel was called to be a light to the nations; what’s wrong with them?
Yet when I find myself interacting with people around me, even in the community that I live in, I am more likely to play the role of the Pharisee than that of Jesus. Certainly it’s not intentional, but we as Christians do this all the time.
There can be many different reasons why we tend to only associate ourselves with those who are like us, but the fact of the matter is that we are called, as Christians, to those outside of our Christians circles. We are the light of the world; we are the salt of the earth. So why is it that we are so much better at keeping the light to ourselves, even judging other Christians for whom they associate themselves with?
Too often we wait until people “get better” or “act right” before we are willing to associate ourselves with them. We have this notion in our mind that Jesus came to make bad people good. Jesus points out that this whole concept is as ridiculous as a doctor coming to see you when you are well but refusing to treat the sick. The greatest celebrations in heaven, Jesus says, are not when bad people start to be good, but when those who are dead find life!
Who do you know that is lost? Perhaps that is the person to whom God is calling you to… no matter what others might think or say.