Summary: We owe the promise of eternal life to the fact that Christ receiveth sinners.

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Luke 15:1-2

INTRO. (Describe the hypocrisy of the Pharisees.) They wished to monopolize religion for their own set group. They were the most religious people of their day, devoted keepers of the Mosaic Law and yet they were the worst of the enemies of Jesus. Instead of rejoicing in that they were in the presence of the Son of God they sought to find means to kill him. Rather than rejoice that God would love and save all men from their sins these self-righteous, spiritually proud hypocrites wanted to exclude all but their own kind from the grace of God. When Jesus preached and taught, He attracted vast crowds of the kind of people the Pharisees considered undesirable. They murmured, "This man receiveth sinners and eateth with them." Praise God! Jesus receives sinners! Not only does He receive them but then He joins in sweet fellowship with them!

The story is told of a little girl whose parents never went to church. However, they insisted upon her

attendance and what is more is that she had to be able to recite the preacher’s text for the day. One morning she rushed home excited: "Oh mama, my name is in the Bible." "That’s not likely," responded her parents. "But it is! The pastor read it this morning. ’This man receiveth sinners, and Edith with them."

This is more than just a mispronunciation. There is a beautiful truth here. Can you put your name

there? "This man receiveth sinners, and __________ with them."


A. The Bible says a sinner is one who transgresses the Law of God.

1. (I Jn. 3:4) - "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law."

2. Webster defines a transgressor as "one who exceeds the boundaries of the law.

3. Consider the sinners of the world. Is not the action of sinners the very acts of lawlessness? Murder, riot, rape, war or even any of the so-called lesser sins such as stealing, gossip, or lying. These are all acts which indicate lawlessness.

B. But being a transgressor of the Laws of God is a characteristic applicable to all men, not just those who get caught in their lawless deeds.

1. Some, like the Pharisees would have the world believe they have always been inside the bounds set by the Laws of God. The Bible calls such people liars. (I Jn. 1:8) - "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."

2. The Bible says we are all born sinners.

a. Romans 3:23

b. Romans 5:12

3. You may be like the woman who was saved one morning and asked to address the church; "All my life I have been saying I am not a sinner. This morning I realized that if I am not a sinner then Jesus can not save me, "For this man receiveth sinners."

C. Jesus will receive sinners of all ages.

1. He said He would receive those who would seek Him in their youth and that we are to permit little children to come to Him.

2. But He also loves those of mature age. The most difficult thing I have had to face in preaching is to convince folks that a person never gets so old that Jesus does not love them. You are not so old that Christ can not save you.

D. Jesus loves and receives sinners from all stations of life.

1. God showed mercy to royal Manasseh and King Nebuchadnezzar as well as the blind beggar, Bartimaeus. He saves rich and poor alike.

2. Jesus healed a nobleman’s son and a rich man’s daughter and He healed a poor mad man in Gadera who lived in the tombs. Your station in the world will not affect the love Jesus has for you, be you bank president or ditch digger.

E. Jesus will receive sinners of all degrees.

1. The rich young ruler was outwardly moral and Jesus loved him. The adulteress of Samaria and Mary Magdeline were equally received by Him.

2. No matter how you may have abused God’s goodness or taken His name in vain or sinned against Him still He loves you.

3. Saul of Tarsus consented to the murder of Stephen. He himself, murdered and imprisoned many Christians and deserved to die for his sin. I Tim. 1:12-15

F. He will accept you because that is what He does and that is who He is. This man receiveth sinners.


In response to the murmuring of the Pharisees, Jesus chooses to reveal a portion of himself in a very special way.

1. He does this by speaking a parable to them. Note that "parable" (vs. 6) is singular. This is important because it means that what we have in the next 28 verses is actually three aspects of one parable.

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