Summary: The one who is lost and separated from the Father. Four insights about Jesus and The One: The One is drawn to Jesus, Jesus loved being with The One, people isolate themselves from The One, Christ-followers must overcome isolation to do life with the one.
January 15 Jesus and The One Luke 15:1-2
The One=the one who is lost and separated from the Father
Four insights about Jesus and The One:
1. The One is drawn to Jesus
2. Jesus loved being with The One
3. Some people isolate themselves from The One
4. Christ-followers must overcome their isolation to do life with The One
Illustration about losing something that was near/dear and going at great lengths to find it.
Turn with me to Luke 15:1-2. This morning we begin a new series entitled “The One.” At the beginning of this new year, it’s a series to help us refocus our lives to be on mission with God. Remember what Jesus said, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10 This is why Jesus came. From the nativity in Bethlehem to the cross on Calvary, Jesus came for one purpose: to seek and to save and rescue and redeem those who were lost and separated from the Father.
Let me ask you a serious question: how focused are you on the mission of God? You might be thinking: Mission of God? Is he serious? I’m just trying to figure out how to pay for all the stuff I bought for Christmas! Mission of God? My marriage is hanging on by a thread; what’s all this talk about mission of God? Let me just say to you, A life that is ordered after God’s values and priorities is a life that experiences His favor in all areas of life. Remember Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.” Matthew 6:33 The first step in aligning your life with God is to get on mission with God. Are you on mission with Him? Are you seeking after those who are lost and separated from the Father? If you’re like me, you need to recalibrate your perspective and lifestyle in order to align yourself with the heart of the Father who gave His one and only Son that whoever would believe in Him would not perish but have eternal life.
So let’s read our text for today and get refocused. “All the tax collectors and sinners were approaching to listen to Him. 2 And the Pharisees and scribes were complaining, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them!” Luke 15:1-2
Let me make some comments about the text we’re studying this morning.
Let’s identify the different characters. Tax collectors: they were the worst kind of guy; Jewish in ethnicity but not in practice; they actually worked for the Roman govt. They were widely known as extortioners: they would overcharge their fellow Jews and pocket the difference.
Sinners: generally this term would describe people who were not religious and pretty public about their sin. This could include prostitutes & thieves—but also people who just went about their lives without paying much attention to God or the things of God.
Tax collectors and sinners were excluded from the religious community. When a religious person would see them, they’d go “eeewhh” (can I get a 3 second of Fallon doing it?)
The Pharisees: the root of the word means to separate or detach. There were well known for being the holier than thou group. They did not spend time with regular, run of the mill folks. They were also considered the experts in interpretation of the Law, that is, the 1st 5 books of the Bible. So they weren’t anti God or anti Bible—so what was their problem? Their problem was that they viewed the Scripture through a lens that focused them on the sins of others and absolutely blinded them to their own sin.
The Scribes: were a sect of the Pharisees. Originally the scribes are seen in the Old Testament as those who prepared and issued decrees of the king of Israel. But by the time Jesus walked the earth, their duties had devolved into 2 activities: making new copies of the Law (by hand of course; no copy machines), and teaching their own spin on the law, which in effect subjugated the Scripture to their own perspective. They were a pretty mean group.
So the Scribes and Pharisees looked on those who did not know the law or follow the law with great contempt. And because of that, the Pharisees & scribes would refuse to eat with them. To understand that completely, you’ve got to understand what eating meant to those in the ancient near east. There was no fast food, not because McDonald’s hadn’t been invented yet, but because a meal was a time of protracted discussion, story telling, fellowship, of intimacy and transparency. They would linger over a meal for 2-3 hours. If you ate with someone, you communicated to each other that you valued them, esteemed them, and cared about them. No way the Pharisees would be caught dead eating with someone who everyone knew was a low-life!