Recently, I’ve been studying the parables of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and the Lost Son in Luke 15. Luke 15 begins by saying, “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.'” On the heels of this, Jesus tells the three parables.
As I read these stories, I’m reminded just how much God seeks after us. All three parables involve something that was missing but is eventually found and the joy and celebration that ensues. It’s a good reminder of the joy in somebody being “lost” and then “found.” It’s also been a good reminder for me to actively pursue people just like Jesus did. Jesus pursued “sinners” relentlessly. He ate with them. He hung out with them. So much so that he had gained a reputation of a man that “welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
I’m curious, for us in sports outreach at local churches–do we have this reputation? Do our coaches and leaders have this reputation? Or, do we see non-believers as the Pharisees did–as the “enemy,” as “sinners”?
How much are we relentlessly pursuing people in our ministries?