Jesus didn’t embrace sinners unconditionally saying peace, love, everything is OK. He’s saying it’s not OK!

24th Sunday Year C

15th September 2013

Luke 15:1-10 The Lost Sheep / Drachma

Here’s a piece that’s often mistakenly used to justify, tolerate and accept behaviour that is contrary to the teaching of Jesus Christ.

More often than not, you’ll find a very selective focus on the Good Shepherd that effectively denies the reality of sin, denies there’s a real danger to the lost sheep.

Surely it’s the danger to the lost sheep that provokes the loving Shepherd to leave the ninety nine and go in search of the one?

So, effectively, while Jesus tells us much about himself, he’s also telling us that sin is not OK!

Firstly, the Gospels use the terms sin and sinners. Indeed they are terms that Jesus affirms. If you remove sin and sinners from the Gospels, Jesus Christ becomes meaningless.

Secondly, when Jesus tries to explain sin He tells stories / parables that understand sin as loss, potentially fatal. He uses sin and loss as if they’re interchangeable.

Thirdly, the sinners are seeking the company of Jesus to hear what he had to say. It’s not a case of Jesus embracing sinners unconditionally saying peace, love, everything is OK! On the contrary Jesus is saying it’s not OK!

Nowhere is this more obvious than on the Cross.

ILLUSTRATE USING CRUCIFIX

This is what sin does to God.

But since this (Jesus Christ) is also man, this is also what sin does to humanity.

That’s why Jesus is interested in the sinner, but he’s interested like a shepherd facing the potential permanent destruction of one of his sheep.

Therefore, far from justifying, tolerating and accepting sin as OK the scriptures, indeed Jesus himself, actually argue and teach the very opposite.

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