“But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered,
‘This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.’”
Luke 15:2 (NIV)
Meister Eckhart, a wise saint of another age, once said, “God is home it is we who have gone out for a walk.”
It seems to me that humanity is suffering from a kind of amnesia. We do not know our true identity. Some people simply think of themselves as “trousered apes” as C.S. Lewis so aptly put it in his book, The Abolition of Man.
Another person suggested that we are “economic animals”. We are born, we learn how to make money, we make money, we die, and cease to exist.
Such tragic views of what we are make life cheap, pointless, and depressing. The theory of biological evolution seems to rob people of any sense of personal worth or significance. That theory suggests we are sophisticated animals and nothing more.
The Christian message gives us a value beyond measure. We are told in Scripture that we have been made in the image of God. We learn that God made us to be His companions but we have strayed from our position of privilege in God’s presence. We have “gone out for a walk” as Eckhart has suggested.
This lofty notion means that we are exceedingly precious to our Creator and anything we do that takes us away from the Lord is counterproductive in the extreme. God calls us back to Himself and offers us forgiveness for our wandering away from Him.
The ministry of Jesus was to all people. Sadly, it was usually the poorer segments of society that received His message with gladness. People who knew they were sinners flocked to His ministry and stayed long enough to hear the message of reconciliation He preached.
Those in society who believe themselves above the common class of people seldom find anything to attract them in the message of Jesus. However, those who know they are sinners will welcome Him and find in Him all they need for this life and the one to come.
Have you humbled yourself to where you cease criticizing others and confess as the publican of old, “Lord be merciful to me the sinner.” (Luke 18:13)? The poor man in the temple who said these words called himself “the sinner”. He did not look around at others and seek to justify himself. He spoke as though there was only one sinner in the world, himself.
Today, regardless of how far you have wandered from your Creator, He welcomes you back to where you truly belong—in His family, in His presence. Come like the man in Luke 18:13, pray as he prayed and you shall never be turned away!
That is the attitude we must have if we are to gain anything from Jesus. It is as though we think or say, “I do not know about anyone else but I certainly am a sinner.”