Lost And Found – Tax Collectors And Sinners

This article is part 3 of 11 in the series Lost And Found

   Amazing grace how sweet the sound, First we will be looking at a couple of things which are lost and the desperate search to find them. Then we will come to the heart of this chapter… the story of the Prodigal Son. These other stories lead up to the one about the son… All of them are found in Luke 15, the principles are found throughout the Bible. The stories of LOST AND FOUND are King David’s (2 Samuel 11-12), the apostle Peter’s (Matthew 26:31-35, 69-75; John 21:15-19), the immoral man mentioned in I Corinthians 5 (and 2 Corinthians 2:5-11). It is my story, and the story of every ‘son’ who found himself once again in the ‘pig pen’ of sin and just wanted to go ‘home’ and just be a servant, but receives so much more. It may be your story or part of it, depending on ‘where you are’ in it. The really good news is the story has a marvelous ending! 
      First… a little bit about Parables. Often Jesus taught with parables (stories), which
were taken from everyday life but carried a ‘life lesson’ or eternal spiritual
principle. He was the Master of communicating and illustrating. He used
parables for at least three reasons. 1.) To conceal truth from those who were
really not interested in it. 2.) To reveal truth in a way which a ‘truth
seeker’ would forever remember. To this person, the principles which Jesus
taught would come to mind when they saw something similar in their everyday
life. 3.) To ‘embalm’ and preserve his teachings for generations to come, since
these stories would be passed down by word of mouth as well as by letters
    These 3 parables are some of the most famous which Jesus told. People have heard them, read them, pondered over them, and lived them to some extent. Preachers have taught lessons, written books and articles on these stories. Souls have been saved, scoffers have laughed, while the saved continue to rejoice in the grace of God ‘embalmed’ in these stories. These are stories about life, with its joys, tears, disappointments, frustrations and yes, its celebrations. These stories have become so familiar, that the temptation to read quickly and move on, must be fought. Some sadly,  when they read this chapter, will never see themselves, thus they miss the marvelous power of God’s wonderful grace, and love for them, and, in the story of the lost son… they miss the way back home.   
   Jesus didn’t mind sitting and eating with the hated tax collectors (Luke 15:1-2), who took more than they were supposed to. What about the “sinners”? What kind of sins had they committed? Stealing? Lying? Adultery? Divorce, (for ‘un-scriptural reasons’)? Gossip? It doesn’t say, it really doesn’t matter with Jesus! Sinners gathered around Jesus, to hear him. They saw a need in their lives and only Jesus could fill it. The “religious leaders” had not filled the emptiness, the hurt of sins committed… cold traditional worship, had not satisfied the thirst. They wanted to hear Jesus! Today, many are turned off with “CHURCH”… they simply but not with JESUS! He did not turn them away then… He will not turn them away now. Praise God!!! “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick”.

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Jack Jr Series
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