Scripture selection: Luke 15:7
“I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
As Jesus went about teaching about the kingdom, he used many illustrations. Some of them were easily grasped by the people – others didn’t seem to fit with their idea of justice and righteousness.
I can’t help but wonder what some thought about Jesus’ teaching concerning the “lost” sheep.
I imagine that some heard it as it was intended – very good news.
I also imagine that many were offended by this offer of “amazing grace.” Who was this Jesus’ anyway – that he should presume to forgive sins and welcome sinners?
I can hear many of the most “religious” people of the day crying foul.
Like small children, intent on what is “fair” or not – we so often want others to “get what they deserve.”
At the same time, we want mercy – not what we “deserve” – when we are at fault.
Jesus would have none of this hypocrisy.
He invited – he still invites – us to celebrate each and every time someone who was an outcast is welcomed “home” back into the fold.
It goes against our sense of justice. It goes against our sense of fairness.
But it remains the great good news of the gospel.
Every single time someone who has been lost is found – it is cause for great joy and hope.
I hope we can all agree that God’s amazing grace is for ALL people – and not just for those we have decided are “worthy.”