ACCEPTED BY GRACE
People who were nothing like Jesus, liked Jesus.
Jesus liked people who were nothing like him.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 NLT
Some people brought to him a paralyzed man on a mat. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “Be encouraged, my child! Your sins are forgiven.” Matthew 9:2 NLT
Jesus said what only God can say & then did what only God could do.
As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him. Matthew 9:9 NLT
The story of Jesus is the story of God drawing near to those who have been pulled away by sin and pushed away by the self-righteous.
The Messiah's ancestry was tainted with non-Jews.
There was no point in hiding the flawed humanity of Jesus' ancestry - that was the main point.
The self-righteous chased sinners away & the sinner's shame kept them running.
Jesus was not uncomfortable surrounded by those who most needed the bridge back to God that only grace could provide.
But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” Matt. 9:11-13 NLT
I have not come to call those who think they are good but those who know they are not.
Uncomfortable truth: grace is inviting to the unrighteous and threatening to the self-righteous.
Grace is not earned; it is offered.
You can't be good enough; you don't have to be.
Jesus = grace personified
Homework: To which side of the isle do I tend to lean?