Luke 15:1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
Have you ever noticed how the crowds around Jesus were always reversed of the way you would expect? You would think the leaders of the Temple and religious people would have sought out the Son of God and listened when He spoke. You would expect sinners to stay away. After all, who seeks out someone who is going to criticize you? Yet the sinners were gathered to listen, the Temple leaders were mummering and staying away. Why? Because Jesus was a Master at calling people to God without condemning them. The Temple leaders were only interested in forcing people to do what they wanted. They showed no love, no care, no concern for the person. Everything was about the law and doctrine. They had forgotten that God first showed love to Israel by setting them free from slavery and only later, in the desert, called them to obedience. The modern church needs to learn from this example. First let people know you love them. Show them you love them. Reach out to them where they are at, later you can begin teaching the harder things of Christ. Any outreach on the part of the church or a Christian must begin by showing people you love them.
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