The "Sons of this World" - Luke 16.1-8
- · Jesus is the searching shepherd and the woman rifling her house looking for what is lost. In Jesus, God the Father is the father who sees these tax collectors and sinners far away, has compassion on them, runs to them receives them, loves, cleans up, clothes, cherishes and celebrates over them.
- · The lost sheep, lost coin, prodigal son, and dishonest manager are the tax collectors and sinners who have come to Jesus to hear him and so are found, who come to themselves and return to the father, who have lately “shaped up”, if you will, realizing that legitimate charges justly hang over their heads and they turn the corner by coming to Jesus. These are they who were dead are alive again, who were lost and now are found!
- · The Pharisees and scribes are the 99 sheep who think they have it all together, the “righteous who need no repentance”; the stubborn son who is left on the front porch in the dark where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth, the “sons of light” who are not recognizing the moment and are being raced past by the sinners and tax collectors.
- · If you have walked away from the Christian Faith, or have never been a Christian, these stories encourage you to come. It’s not too late; “Come, ye sinners, poor and needy, Weak and wounded, sick and sore; Jesus ready stands to save you, Full of pity, love and power” (Trinity Hymnal, rev. ed., Hymn 472).
- · If you feel satisfied and pleased with yourself, that you’ve got it all together, that you’re better than “those people,” whether you are a church-going person or you hold yourself apart from church because it’s full of hypocrites, hear what Jesus is saying to you. You are still out on the porch, in the dark. You are one of the 99 (self-)righteous, one of the “sons of light” who are missing the point and missing the moment. But the doors still stands open for you. You too need to “draw near to hear him” (15.1).
- · The next time you come to the Lord’s Supper, remember Luke 15.1-2, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” Think on this statement, relish the fellowship, savor the fact that Jesus knows who you are, knows what you’ve done and said, knows you better than your wife/husband/mom/dad does, and yet has sought you, and in him the Father has had compassion on you, run to you, received you, loved, cleaned up, clothed, cherished and celebrates over you! Cherish the fact that just as you receive the bread and wine so Jesus receives you and eats with you!