Does Jesus Weep?
“To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others: ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge and you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.”‘ But wisdom is proved right by her actions.” Matthew 11: 16-19
Does anyone else find it odd that Jesus loved and was a friend of tax collectors and sinners, but the vast majority of traditional/institutional “church” members avoid folks like that like the plague? Many seem to preach and follow the doctrine of separation. Which calls for “saints” to totally avoid sinners at just about all cost. Jesus certainly did not live that way and neither should we.
Jesus lived, loved, and walked among every type of person in the communities He served, lived in and visited. Not even the lepers were unclean to Him. In fact the people He had the most difficulties with were the Pharisees who valued Law and separation over and above relationship. Seems to me that there are a great number of modern day Pharisees in the “Church” today. They are people who lift doctrine, Law and “right” teaching over and above relationship, grace, mercy and love.
In true community everyone is accepted and loved, even sinners. Which raises this huge question…. are there any sinners in your life? Or is your circle of community drawn so small and tight that it only includes members of your “church”? Seems to me that Jesus was saying that we all need to play, dance, sing, eat, drink and mourn together with people from all walks of life. If your “Christian” life is so narrow that no “sinner” can be a part of it at any time… I think you miss the true message of Jesus and have settled for something far less than Christ.
Of course this whole conversation begs the question of… who is not a sinner in the first place? Jesus emptied Himself, left heaven and His Father to come to earth as a mortal child and then as a mortal man loved us so much that He freely gave His life for all of us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5: 8) Jesus is the friend of sinners and if you can fully grasp that in your heart and mind, you would have no problem whatsoever welcoming sinners into your life too. We are all called to love and serve whoever comes into our lives. To actually lay down our lives for our friends, and if your definition of “friend” is too narrow… I am most certain that Jesus weeps.
Kirk Out !