Worthy of Receiving and Giving Love

Text: Luke 5:30-32
The Pharisees and their scribes were complaining to his disciples, saying, ‘Why do you eat and drink with tax-collectors and sinners?’  Jesus answered, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance.’ (NRSV)

I recently preached a sermon on “Confession” as part of our Lenten series.  It can be found on our YouTube page if you have not yet heard it (https://youtu.be/1cTgi1eivyo).  One of my points was that we are all sinners and in need of confession and repentance.  So, when Jesus replies to the Pharisees and their scribes with “I have come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance.”, don’t get fooled into thinking that you don’t need Jesus.

The point of Jesus’ response is not that the Pharisees and their scribes don’t need salvation, but that those whom they have pushed away from God, God is specifically calling back into relationship through Jesus.  Those who they would not even associate with, let alone try and reach with God’s love, are those for whom Jesus came to open the way of salvation.

This text speaks to me on two levels.  First, I am one for whom Jesus came to bring me back into relationship with God.  I am worthy because God calls me worthy.  It does not matter what others think about me.  God loves me and that is all that matters.  Second, as one who is redeemed and now one of Jesus’ disciples, I am called to reach out to the same people for whom Jesus has come.  I am called to share the love of God with those who others say are outcasts, sinners, and unworthy of love.  I am God’s vessel to be used to share the love God pours into me by pouring that love into the lives of others.

So, if you don’t feel worthy of God’s love, you are!  And, if you have already become one who calls Jesus Lord and Savior, then you are called to pour God’s love into the lives of those others call unlovable.

Pray with me:

God of love remind me each day of how much you love me and as you fill me with your love may it overflow from my life into the lives of others who are unloved in this world.  AMEN.

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