Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
Lost and Found
Have you ever walked by a lost and found? So often, there are such trivial things that you wonder, “Who would come back for that?” The stuff doesn’t seem to have any significant value. An old water bottle. A torn sweatshirt. A dirty pair of worn-out shoes. Who would care enough to come and search for that?
That’s what the Pharisees and teachers of the law wondered, as they walked by the spiritually lost people of Jesus’ day. “Why bother?” These religious elite had written these sinners off as lost causes. They wondered why Jesus would waste his time with them!
But, unlike the religious elites of his day, look where Jesus placed himself. He welcomed sinners and ate with them. He didn’t say “ick” and run away. Even though Jesus is true God, even though he was perfect and without sin, he spent time with sinners.
If you’ve ever felt brushed off by someone, or if you’ve wondered, “who would come searching for me?” remember that Jesus doesn’t distance himself from a messy life and complicated problems. In fact, he welcomes you; he settles into your life, and he’s not ashamed. Jesus does that because he is the God who, in love, came to seek and save the lost.
So, there’s no need to hide who you are or what you’ve done. What you’ve done has been overcome by what Jesus has done. You are not a lost and worthless item in the lost in found—found in the love of Christ; you are God’s prized possession.
Thank you, Jesus, for coming into my life even when I was lost, even when my life is a mess. In you, I find complete forgiveness and real peace. Amen.