Reading: “This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.”—Luke 15:2
Christian, do you need a more than ordinary representation of the Lord Jesus, to melt the finer feelings of your heart, in the contemplation of His unequalled condescension and love? Consider this picture that the evangelist hath here drawn of the Son of God. Consider Christ, surrounded with poor publicans and sinners, alluring them to the arms of His mercy; and behold the self-righteous Pharisees and Scribes withdrawing from the sacred spot, and with all that indignation and scorn, which marked their character, murmuring at the grace of Jesus, saying, “This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them!”
It is well for us that the Son of God has received sinners; how else would He have look on us? And it is well that His table has been spread for sinners; for how would He have fed me otherwise? Yea, Lord, is it not the very feature of Thy rich dispensation of mercy that it is for sinners, as sinners, that You came down from heaven, to seek and save them? And who else but sinners, should Jesus, the great Saviour of sinners receive, and eat with?
Let us dwell on this sweet subject today and run over some of the blessed thoughts, which arise out of this view of my compassionate and loving Lord? Remember, when Jesus first received you as a sinner, you were hastening on to ruin; and it was then, of all moments that you most merited hell, that Jesus received you, and promised you heaven. And do not forget also how truly seasonable was that mercy; for you were living then without hope, without God, and without Christ in the world.
And never, surely, was mercy more unexpected, less sought for, or less esteemed, than when Jesus surprised you with the manifestations of His grace, and made you willing in the day of His power (Psalm 110:3). Furthermore, it is His grace that enables us to pray again today; come in, Lord, to my poor house, to my heart, and eat with me and commune with me today (Cf. Revelation 3:20).