Luke 15.1-7

Now the toll collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him.

And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them!”

So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he finds it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.’

“Just so– I tell you– There will be more joy in Heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance.”

2 responses

  1. This is a very pious Christian parable, heard over and over, seeming to say that the Christian Thing ought to be a matter of dashing out and saving sinners, ie tent meetings & altar calls & hungry people sitting through church services so they can eat.What it's saying– to the Judaism of Jesus' time and the churches of today: "What you really want to do is sit around enjoying the company of people like yourselves and feeling comfortably blessed. Not a bad thing, in itself.But Jesus says that God is not concerned with those sheep comfortably huddled together in the benches & folding chairs, but with the ones off alone making bad mistakes & suffering. And Jesus is embodying that concern.Does Jesus seem to have any trouble at all collecting a bunch of sinners willing– even eager– to eat with him? None at all, that we can see. The people in his parables who've been trying to avoid his company– are the religious!Whatever our various soul-saving missions are doing– it must not be what Jesus was doing, because people really don't feel the same about it.What's he got that we don't? That's a good question, isn't it?!

  2. Luke 15.8-10"Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost.' Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents."—-And this time, God is a woman! Who will turn her house upside down to find who/what's lost. & if God couldn't find us in her very house, that would be quite remarkable.Is this consistent, with hundreds of years of people wondering whether or not God would be tossing them into Hell?

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