Is today’s church in line with Jesus’ desires for us?
In Luke 5: 31-32, Jesus told the Pharisees that he ate with tax collectors and sinners because they were the sick ones in need of a doctor. He reminded them that he came not to call the righteous but sinners! To accept an invitation to a meal in the home of “such people” and enjoy their fellowship was to be seen as uniting with them as valuable…as friends! For Jesus, this was a good thing. For the tax collectors and sinners, this was a good thing. For the religious leaders who grasped not Jesus’ burden, this was heretical! Yet, if repentance implies something more than mere behavior adjustment, and a change in character and actions are desired, this means that Jesus was tackling the core of sin. He was not settling with making the religious establishment happy or comfortable. He wanted to stretch his disciples, and the religious leaders, by showing a model of true care and freedom beyond their cultural walls and religious norms. It has been said that the health and focus of a church can be determined by looking at a church’s budget and activity. The percentage of money, time, and energy spent in outreach toward “tax collectors and sinners” may help even us to review if there are some adjustments we may need to make with our lives?