What is the front door of Praise & Worship’s new “gathering center” going to be like?
LUKE 15:1-2 | The phrases “tax collectors” and “sinners” have simple meanings: those whom we despise and/or assume are on the “outside”. They are THOSE people. And it is precisely THOSE people that Jesus wants to EAT WITH. In this context, “eating with” is the same as “identifies with”. Jesus welcomed them!
LUKE 15:11 | Who is the sinner? Who is the son? There was a “man” who had TWO SONS. Spoiler alert! In this parable, the “man” is God. The “two sons” are: one who “does what is right” and one who, well, doesn’t.
LUKE 15:13-19 | Who is the sinner? Who is the son? The world (and usually us too!) answers this question by MEASURING BEHAVIOR. Even the younger son, in the midst of his failure, measures his relationship to his father by way of his behavior. “I’m no longer worthy to be called your son.”
LUKE 15:20 | Who is the sinner? Who is the son? How does the father answer this question?!? (Hint: IDENTITY, that is: no matter what, the boy was HIS SON) The father had been out on the road looking for his son and when he saw him from far away, HE WAS FILLED WITH COMPASSION FOR HIM. He ran to him!
LUKE 15:28-32 | Who is the sinner? Who is the son? The older brother was ticked off. How DARE this failure of a brother return? But how does the father respond to the older son? HE WENT OUT AND PLEADED WITH HIM!
ROMANS 15:7 | We have all been the younger brother. We have all been the older brother. Regardless, the Father welcomes us all because He loves us! The question is not about behavior, but about WHO WE ARE. You are God’s precious child. And so is everyone out there on the road who are in trouble. God welcomed us home! We are called to JOIN HIM in this mission, to give His LOVE and HOPE to all people!
So, we ask again, what is the front door of Praise & Worship’s new “gathering center” going to be like?
Dig Deeper: Matthew 9:9-13, Luke 9:10-17, Romans 15:1-13, Colossians 4:2-6, Hebrews 13:1-3