Don’t Miss Out on This
“Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.” Luke 15:1-2
The Pharisees and scribes in the Bible, bound in legalism and prideful snobbery, ever judging with their hardened hearts and foolish belief they could be righteous in and of themselves, missed out on something vital the day they complained about Jesus spending time with the sinners and publicans. But they didn’t just miss out on what they missed that day; they missed out continually. And so are some of us.
The Pharisees and scribes that day were busy “murmuring” about what Jesus was doing. Per the concordance, the Greek word translated into “murmuring” also means complaining. They weren’t just muttering about Jesus fellowshipping with the sinners. They were arrogantly complaining! In today’s world, this would be like some of us muttering and complaining about someone loving and helping and hanging out with people who are poor, broken, lost, downtrodden, homeless, drunk, hurting, etc. But we would never murmur like that, would we? Yes! But we would never stand far away from those in dire need and figure somebody else will take care of them, would we? Yes! If we’re honest with ourselves.
So what did the Pharisees and scribes miss that day? And what are some of us missing by haughtily doing as they did? Little did I know in all my years of reading and writing voraciously, and of studying English for years, how God would use the gift of words He has given me to see by the power of His Holy Spirit things in the written word that can be so easily overlooked. Such is the case with these two simple – and powerful – verses. In Luke 15:1, three incredibly strong and revealing words are used. Know what the publicans and sinners did? They “DREW NEAR” (upper case added) to Jesus. Know what they did once they drew near? They “HEARD” (upper case added) Jesus! While the Pharisees and scribes busied themselves judging and condemning those in extreme need, the sinners and publicans got close to Jesus and listened to Him!
How many of us are so busy judging those in extreme need and those that help them that we can’t see our own dire need for Christ and are missing out on drawing close to Him, diving into God’s Word daily, and hearing the Lord speak to us so He can draw us ever closer to Himself, transform our hearts and lives, and help us grow in His most magnificent image? The rest of Luke 15 is very much about repentance, and that’s what we all need to be doing.
Repenting of our sins, believing in Christ, and drawing near to the Lord and hearing Him. Are we?