Summary: Sinful people were drawn to Jesus
A) Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach.
* This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that He was
associating [being friends] with such sinful people, even eating with them.
B) Jesus’ critics despised and avoided sinful people.
* They saw them as enemies – Their strict observance of religious customs produced
an attitude of spiritual pride – They lost touch.
C) To them people far from God had no worth, no value, or no importance.
* They were unholy and an offense to God and was to be avoided.
* They concluded that God hated sinners.
D) Meanwhile Jesus intentionally befriended sinful people.
* He saw them as loved by God but caught in their sin.
* His disciples and followers were everyday people, men and women, including
those who had lived ugly and immoral lives.
E) Sinful people were drawn to Jesus not because he cut them any slack morally
but because they sensed that they truly mattered to him.
* He lived and walked among them and filled a broken place in their souls.
* He didn’t charge for teaching or healing – He was humble and approachable by the
lowest of the low and diseased.
F) And when He spoke about the kingdom of God it included them.
* I’m talking about the poor and powerless, those who needed mercy and forgiveness,
who were struggling just to live – They believed that He truly loved them.
* Luke 19:10 [Jesus came] “to seek and save the lost.”
G) [Jesus explained] that “healthy people don’t need a doctor, sick people do.”
* Mark 2:17, He said, “I haven’t come to call those who think they are righteous,
but those who know they are sinners.”
H) Jesus came to seek out people who are flawed and broken, people like you
and me who have missed the mark of God’s standard.
* I’ve not loved God above all else – I’ve not loved my neighbor as myself.
* I won’t bore you with the other commandments I have failed to keep.
I) If you are anything like me you have messed-up bad.
* This is the true human condition, fatally flawed and lost, in desperate need of
the grace of God.
* Rom. 3:23 “For all have sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”
J) Sin is not primarily the sinful things we think, say or do; it’s much deeper,
it’s a condition of the heart.
* An attitude of rebellion – Going my own way instead of seeking God’s way.
* Jer. 17:9 says that the human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and
desperately wicked – Who really knows how bad it is?
K) Jesus’ critics did not examine their hearts or motives.
* They stuck to the externals, the rules they could be proud of keeping.
* In Luke 15, Jesus answers His critics – He tells 3 stories about joy in heaven
when lost sinners repent.
(1) STORY 1: DOES ONE LOST SHEEP MATTER?
A) A shepherd has 100 sheep and one is lost.
* What value is one lost sheep if you still have 99? – Forget it? – Who cares?
* No! Sheep have names – They recognize the shepherd’s voice and follow him.
B) He leaves the 99 to seek for the one lost sheep by name and when he finds it
there is a celebration.
* He calls his friends and neighbors and says, “Rejoice with me, because I have
found my lost sheep.”
* Jesus teaches, “In the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner
who repents than over 99 righteous people who have no need of repentance.”
(2) STORY 2: DOES ONE LOST COIN MATTER?
A) A woman has 10 silver coins [each worth a day’s wage] and one is lost.
* Does the lost coin matter? – YES! Certainly – She lights a lamp and sweeps until
she finds it – Then she calls and says,
* “Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.” – In the same way, there is
joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”
(3) STORY 3: DOES ONE LOST PERSON MATTER?
A) The characters in Jesus’ 3rd story are: A wealthy landowner with hired
servants is the father of two sons.
* The younger son is angry and rebellious – The older son is angry but compliant.
* To illustrate the point further [why Jesus eats with sinners], Jesus told them this
story in v.11-12 .......
B) “A man had two sons – The younger son told his father, “I want my share of
your estate now before you die.”