Jesus with sinners who do not deserve him

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The Gospel of Compelling Grace

One of the parables that the Lord gave when introducing the kingdom of heaven to us who have never been to it is a feast. The story in chapters 14 and 15 of Luke tells that the kingdom of heaven is a feast of values and concepts completely different from the feast of this world.

When we go to a party, we are very interested in VIP seats. But the Lord says, when you go to a feast, do not look for a higher place, but rather go to a lower place. It is saying that the values we usually expect at a feast are different in the kingdom of God. Also, in a feast of this world, the best possible guests are invited because the level of the people invited is the level of the owner. But the Lord invites the disabled, the poor, the sick, and the marginalized who have no people to care for them. They are the people who cannot pay back. Because the feast of the kingdom of heaven is a feast of giving.

In chapter 14 of Luke, at the king’s feast, not a single qualified person accepted the invitation. The reasons for not being able to come were because of extremely ordinary things. This was an insult to the king since it indicated that they treated the king’s invitation not even as importantly as their ordinary daily lives. The king suddenly gives orders to his servants, “Go out to the roadside, and compel the uninvited to come, those who have nothing for paying back, and those who cannot come on their own, bring them to the feast.”

This was speaking for the people of Israel. The descendants of Abraham were the first who received God’s eternal word and received God’s miracles and grace. They were invited to be VIPs in the kingdom of God. Although God bestowed the greatest grace on them, because they received it freely and without cost, they trampled on it, crushed, tore, and threw it away. However, this divine invitation and privilege went to the unqualified. This means that God will grant infinite grace to fill the kingdom of heaven with such people and make them to enjoy blessings.

In chapter 15 of Luke, Jesus was with tax collectors and sinners who did not deserve him. At that time, tax collectors were synonymous with sinners. The Jews did not associate or eat with tax collectors in order to avoid misfortune. According to the Jews, tax collectors were people who had nothing to do with the kingdom of God.

At that time, the Jews who had privileges and were in the special class, the Pharisees, would have thought the tax collectors at the place were vulgar. That was the usual reaction of the Jewish society at that time, and the response was a reflection of human-level values and emotions. The Pharisees and scribes call Jesus “this man” in cynical and disrespectful language. “Does this man accept sinners and eat with them?” In other words, this means “What good is in these lowly people?” When the situation unfolded, their true intentions were revealed.

Missionary Yong-Ui KIM

(Itinerant Missionary. Representative of LOG Mission)

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