I started the Life Journal Reading Plan through YouVersion on my iPod Touch this year. It’s one of those “read the Bible in a year” type of things. What I like about it is that you get a mixture of Old and New Testaments every day.
While reading through Luke the other day I noticed something in Luke 15:1-2.
Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around to hear him. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
Jesus was being muttered about because of the company that He kept. They weren’t the “right” kind of people. They were “sinners”. All I can say to that is thank God that Jesus keeps the company of sinners. I definitely fit into that category. We can all be thankful that what the religious leaders said was true. That Jesus “welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
Here’s the thing though. Ephesians 5:1-2 reads,
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
I’m supposed to imitate God’s love through Jesus. That implies that I should also welcome sinners and eat with them. Plainly put, I should have friends who don’t believe in Jesus. That makes me (and I’m guessing most Christians) uncomfortable. We like to get in our “holy huddle” with other Christians and stay there. We would rather risk someone going to hell than risk someone muttering about us.
Two questions came to mind when I read Luke 15:1-2:
Are people muttering about me?
Am I keeping the company I should be keeping if they aren’t?
What do you think?