By Frank Pollard
GOOD NEWS FOR MESS-UPS
There is a problem for the writer or teacher or preacher
when we face a well-known, familiar text. The temptation is
to try to find something new, something different, like the
preacher who announced one Sunday morning that he would talk
about the Prodigal Son as seen from the viewpoint of the
fattened calf. Could we make, right now, a commitment to
approach this well-known bit of holy writ with reverence and
awe. God's Word is never just an old story. It is fresh and
powerful each time we read it.
Why Did Jesus Tell the Story?
The first question to ask is, "Why did Jesus tell the
story?" To whom did He tell the story? The first three
verses of the chapter answer these very important questions.
"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.
Then Jesus told them this parable" (Luke 15:1-3).
Why Did Jesus Spend Time With Sinners?
Luke 15: 1 and 2
Because He spent time with sinners, the respectable,
religious people muttered, "this man welcomes sinners and
even eats with them" (verse 2). It is what we have heard all
our lives, "you can always tell what a person is like by the
kind of company he keeps." Honestly now, don't you agree
with the critical Pharisees? At first glance it looks like
the Pharisees are right. Do you tell your teenagers to stay
away from sinners? If your daughter brings home a "thing", a
male thing with purple spiked hair, scraggy beard, wearing
pink jeans with holes in the knees, do you not feel like
saying, "watch the company you keep." My dad used to say,
"you are who you run with." There is scripture to back this
up: "But realize this: that in the last days difficult time
will come, for men will be lovers of self, lovers of money,
boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents,
ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, m ...
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