Come near to the Lord and Listen – Luke 15 Encouragement
“Now all the tax collectors [men with authority to cheat the people] and the sinners were coming near Him [Jesus] to listen to Him.” (Luke 15:1) Religious people don’t like that very much. “Both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying ‘This man receives sinners and eats with them’” (Luke 15:2)
Jesus repeatedly tried to help the religious leaders, and he tried again here. He told three stories, one about a lost sheep, one about a lost coin, and the third about a lost boy – each with a celebration at the end when the lost was found. It’s like Jesus was saying to the religious, “You guys always judge and focus on people’s sin and reject them as sinners. God is much more concerned that we find the lost and Love them back into the family.”
We don’t need to be looking at people’s sin (or even looking at our own sin), judging them for all they are not. We all have plenty of behavior issues we can talk about when we make that the focus. Jesus didn’t do that. Instead, He loved lost people into Life, and Loved saved people into even more abundant Life.
So, here’s the Encouragement: “Come near Jesus and listen to Him.” Get past religion and let the Love of God get ahold of you and give you rich Life.
Even right now, close your eyes, get up into the Father’s lap, feel Him holding you, and listen to Him tell you how very precious you are to Him.