~Christ Receiveth Sinners ~
Luke 15:1- 10
1Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. 2And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.
3And he spake this parable unto them, saying, 4What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? 5And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
7I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
· 8Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?
9And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.
10Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
First of all let me say a few things about the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. They were the most religious people of their day, they were 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 looked for some way 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.” Well I am certainly glad that Jesus did & still does receive sinners! Not only does He receive sinners, but also 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 that she went, and not only that but 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.”
Well 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.”
.JUST WHAT IS A SINNER?
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’s dictionary defines a transgressor as “one who exceeds the boundaries of the law.”
3. Just think for a minute about 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 23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
b. Romans 5:12 12Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
Some of you listening may be like the woman who was saved oneSunday morning and asked to address the church; then she said, “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 couldn’t 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.
But He also loves those of mature age. You may have heard me say before, that I was 40 years old before I started going to church, I’m certainly not proud of that at all but I’m glad that Jesus still recieveth a low down sorry sinner like I was, and still even now I’m nothing but a sinner saved by grace.
He didn’t then nor now have an age limit on who can come to Him. You are not so old that Christ cannot save you.
But oh how I wish I had turned my life over to Him at a much younger age.
D. Jesus loves and receives sinners from all walks of life.
1. God showed mercy to 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 walk in the world will not affect the love Jesus has for you, be you the president or porpur.
1. The rich young ruler was outwardly moral and Jesus loved him. The adulteress of Samariain JN.4: 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. 1:12-1512And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; 13Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 15This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 16Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
F. He will accept you because that is what He does and that is who He is. This man receiveth sinners.
II. HOW JESUS RECEIVES 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.
2. The main points of all three stories in this parable remain the same...(a) something is lost, (b) someone is looking for it, and (c) there is great joy in the finding of it. Everything else in these stories is secondary to these 3 main points. And in this Christ reveals to us just How He receives sinners.
A. He Receives Sinners In Pity With Compassion And Tenderness. (vs. 4-74What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? 5And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
7I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.)
1. (Explain the parable of the lost sheep). Jesus starts off with a story that is rather simple to interpret. The lost sheep represents lost sinners and the shepherd is Jesus Christ. (Jn. 10:11) “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”
2. So the natural question would be, “If the shepherd still had 99 sheep in the fold, why would he be so troubled by the loss of one?
B. This may well be the logic of sinful man but it is not the logic of THE HOLY GOD
a. What a comforting thought. Though God has billions of human beings under His providential care. He cares for each individual soul as if that individual was the only one in the world.
b. We might as well say, “For God so loved me that He gave His only begotten Son.” Which leads us to another thought.
3. Have you ever noticed that the one great peculiarity of the Christian faith is this; it is the only religion among men that represents God as seeking out man.
Other religions represent man as seeking God, which is not true.
a. (Rom. 3:11) - “There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.”
b. It was not the sheep that sought the shepherd, but the shepherd who went after the sheep.
And I believe that it is important to note that the lost sheep was of no value to anyone except the shepherd.
4. Out of his pity for the plight of the sheep, the shepherd continues his search until he finds it.
5. Then when He finds it, he does not punish the sheep for it’s wanderings but rather, with compassion and tenderness, he lifts it up and carries it to his home on his own shoulders. Then, when he is home, he calls his neighbors to join in his rejoicing that the lost one has been found.
C. a. If you are without Christ as your Saviour, this is a picture of you. You are this lost sheep and the good shepherd is calling to you. If you will repent of your sin, the Lamb of God will lift you up and, in His strength, He will guide you safely to His home.
b. He then goes on to say that there is more rejoicing over the repentance of one lost sinner than over all the good works of those who think that they have no need of repentance.