CALLING SINNERS TO REPENTANCE
Luke 3:12-13; 5:27-32
“I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:32, NIV
In his book, What’s So Amazing about Grace, Philip Yancey told about a wretched, homeless, sick prostitute who came to him. She was not only a prostitute; she also rented out her daughter to men for sex in order to get money to support her own drug habit. Hearing the sordid story, Philip Yancey felt like reporting the woman for child abuse. But then he asked if she had ever thought of going to a church for help. To this, the woman cried, “Church! “Why would I ever go there? I was already feeling terrible about myself. They’d just make me feel worse.”
Levi felt worse by the way the people treated him due to his dirty job as a tax collector. But Jesus befriended Levi, though He did not gloss over his state as a sinner who needs repentance and a sick person who needs a doctor, just as John told the tax collectors who came to him earlier: “Don’t collect any more than you are required to” (v.13). We all should learn from Christ’s example. When we take a stand against sin, we are doing our work as Christ’s representative. But then we need to be careful that we don’t send away sinners who came to church because they have nowhere else to turn, by treating them with disdain. Rather, with love, we should entreat them, and invite them to the saving grace in Christ.
• Birthday Blessing: “He allowed no one to oppress them; for their sake he rebuked kings.” Ps. 105:14
RBT Passage: Judges 4-5 No one is beyond the reach of God’s mercy; don’t despair any sinner. –XB