Prayer Focus: Qatar, Reunion

Bible Reading: Matthew 8:1-4; 9:1-17; 12:1-21; Mark 1:40-3:21; Luke 5:12-6:19

Scripture
And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples.  And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”  But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.  Go and learn what this means, “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.” For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”  Matthew 9:10-13

Observation

In these passages there many people, crowds, that followed Jesus and wanted more of…Him.  In their eyes Jesus could do nothing wrong.  In the eyes of the scribes, teachers of the law, and religious leaders Jesus could do nothing right.  Jesus healed the sick and he was breaking the law by working on the Sabbath.  Jesus forgave sins and He was blaspheming God.  When Jesus ate with “sinners” they called him a sinner.

But many wanted to be healed and wanted to be forgiven and Jesus did both.  Many, like Matthew, were willing to be his disciples and just got up and left their old life to follow him.

When Jesus said he came to call the sinners and not the righteous he was saying one very important thing: we are all in desperate need of a savior.  Those who considered themselves righteous weren’t righteous enough to enter heaven.  Then again, Jesus agreed that the sinners he was with were actually sinners.  Both groups need a savior.  The big difference is that Jesus was willing to go where the sinners were and explain in love explain to them that they were sinners in need of a savior.  The Pharisees didn’t like to do that.  They knew that God offered grace and mercy, but they wanted to put a burden on the people and make them work for God’s grace and mercy.  It was a terrible burden; one the teachers of the law couldn’t carry either.

Application

We have to leave our comfort zone to bring the lost to Christ.  That means getting into the lives of people where they are at, not inviting them into our lives so we can feel comfortable while they wonder what we’re up to.

But it’s even simpler than that.  You are not surrounded by Christians.  That’s just not what our culture looks like today.  Chances are that most of the people you work with, go to school with, bowl with, golf with, or meet at parties don’t know Jesus, or at least don’t know why they need Jesus.  You’re already there, you already know them, just ask them what they know about Jesus.  Get the conversation started.

Honestly, what are you waiting for?  An invitation?  You may not get one and if circumstances change you’ll lose your opportunity to share the life-saving, soul-healing, gospel that is the message of Jesus Christ.

Love people where they are at, but love them enough not to leave them there.

Prayer

Lord, I know I’ve missed so many opportunities to tell people about You.  Open my mouth and make me bold to share you with every one I know.  Not so that I can put a notch on my belt, or check an item off a list, but so that sinners can be saved.  And if I make a few friends in the process, bonus.  I know it’s not my job to “close the deal” so while I might beg them to turn to You, I won’t force them.  Soften their hearts and my words so that You will be glorified.  Amen.

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