ESOCS Devotional 15 April 2023
MEMORY VERSE: “I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.” Luke 15:7
TEXT: LUKE 15:1-10
Now the tax collectors and [notorious and especially wicked] sinners were all coming near to [Jesus] to listen to Him.
2 And the Pharisees and the scribes kept muttering and indignantly complaining, saying, This man accepts and receives and welcomes [preeminently wicked] sinners and eats with them.
3 So He told them this parable:
4 What man of you, if he has a hundred sheep and should lose one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness (desert) and go after the one that is lost until he finds it?
5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his [own] shoulders, rejoicing.
6 And when he gets home, he summons together [his] friends and [his] neighbors, saying to them, Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep which was lost.
7 Thus, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one [especially] wicked person who repents (changes his mind, abhorring his errors and misdeeds, and determines to enter upon a better course of life) than over ninety-nine righteous persons who have no need of repentance.
8 Or what woman, having ten [silver] drachmas [each one equal to a day’s wages], if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and look carefully and diligently until she finds it?
9 And when she has found it, she summons her [women] friends and neighbors, saying, Rejoice with me, for I have found the silver coin which I had lost.
10 Even so, I tell you, there is joy among and in the presence of the angels of God over one [[e]especially] wicked person who repents (changes his mind for the better, heartily amending his ways, with abhorrence of his past sins).
Read Yesterday’s ESOCS Devotional here
The Pharisees are a legalistic group insisting on strict compliance to the law. They regarded sinners as unholy, unworthy and condemnable. They saw them as people no child of God should associate. Their typical attitude to sinners is seen in how they applied the law as in the case of the woman caught in adultery. They saw themselves as the only holy people in town who love God and defend the things of God. For them, sinners are contemptible and should be so treated. Jesus cannot claim to be the Messiah and at the same time be associating with sinners, eating and drinking with them. If you found your Pastor (Elder-in-Charge) or someone who claims or who is regarded as a holy or a righteous man in the midst of fraudsters or in the midst of people of loose virtue, how will you feel? What will you think and how will you portray him in a discussion? The Pharisee did not hesitate to oppose and condemn Jesus for being in the company of sinners, dinning with them.
However, in these parables, Jesus opens our eves to the love of God and right attitude towards sinners. He shows us how much God loves us, not desiring that any sinner should be lost but should be saved. He makes plain that His mission on earth is to seek the lost. That God’s interest in His coming is the salvation of the sinner. The sinner may be unholy, defiled, and unworthy of God and worthy death; but God loves him and does not want the consequences of sin to come upon him. Christ came to save the sinner, bring him into fellowship with God and give him eternal life. Holding the sinner in contempt and the holier than thou attitude will negate this work of salvation.
Those who have enjoyed the grace of God should be instructed and guided by this. Jesus came searching for the lost. He found us to find others. In doing this, we are to learn from Him the redemptive attitude rather than the Pharisee attitude.
- How do you feel when you see people of loose virtue?
- How will you convert a harlot? Write out your strategy for evangelizing a harlot, a drug addict and an armed robber.
- Lord, we thank you for your love towards man. We realize that without your love, no man has hope of salvation. Teach us heavenly Father to love others as you have loved us. Amen.
FURTHER READING: Isaiah 5:1-7; Lamentations 1:1-11; Matthew 17:14-20; John 14:1-11
Thank you for reading the ESOCS Devotional today. Please share and follow us on all our platforms to contribute to the spread of the Gospel.
ESOCS Devotional 15 April 2023
Leave a Reply