|설교 한 주일||September 23, 2012|
At Petra Baptist Church on 23rd of September, 2012
Title: Are You at Home?
Text: Luke 15:1-31
1. The Pharisees Hate Jesus.
Both Pharisees and the Scribes murmured saying that “this man receives sinners and eats with them.” To the Pharisees, to the Scribes, and to the Publicans, the tax collectors were considered as sinners. The Pharisees never get close to those groups of people. Their norm and standards of sinfulness were so clear.
They believed in God. They were keeping themselves to keep the Word of God as more as their blood. The Pharisees knew that how to distinguish between a nobleman and an untouchable. They could identify between the sinners and the righteous.
They had certain standards to put a line between the believers and non-believers. They were so called Pharisees. So they were called as fundamentalists. They were separatists. At the time Jesus walked the earth, the Pharisees were the “conservative party” within Judaism. They held very strictly the Torah and Talmud. They were very outwardly moral.
Such a great socio-religious leaders disagreed with what Jesus was doing. Jesus was eating with the sinners. He was talking with the untouchables. Jesus received the tax collectors. Jesus visited the poor.
If you think a person who betrayed Jesus, would be a sinner, the Apostle Peter was the sinner. He denied Jesus, his master, for three times. He did not believe what Jesus’ was teaching. He did not believe Jesus’ crucifixion. He could not accept the reality of the cross. To his surprise, Jesus was arrested in front of him. And Peter left Jesus. He returned to his original position of his life.
Said the Gospel of John 21:3, “I want to go fishing.” At the verse 3, Simon Peter said to other disciples, “I am going fishing.” And his coworker said, “We will go with you.”
This is the moment that the relationship between Jesus and the disciples ends. This decision they have made has gone to against to the will of Jesus.
Peter has followed Jesus for about three years. He would experience his Master’s life. He even once walked on water. But in the middle of his life, he lost his Master. So he lost his way. And he was getting diminished from the community of Jesus.
2. Jesus Loved the Sinners.
One early morning, Peter could not help but return without any fish. He worked so hard all night long. Strangely, no catch at all. He might be exhausted. The day of emptiness was only ahead of Peter. That moment, Jesus visited himself. The Master showed himself to His betrayed disciple. Jesus prepared himself the breakfast for the disciples who failed to follow Him.
Peter was once lost. Jesus found him. Are you lost? Are you already found? Jesus was the real friend of the sinners. In Mark 2:17, Jesus said, “Those who well have no need of a physician.” As what He said He also would do. Jesus continued to say, “I came not to call the righteous but sinners.” As what He said He carried out His calling accordingly. Jesus called the sinners.
If you were not a sinner, Jesus is not for you. And His coming would be meaningless to you.
I do believe that the body of Christ is called for the sinners. However, the Pharisees disagreed with the ministry of Jesus. The Professionals of the Word of God, the Pharisees grumbled. Saying, “this man receives sinners and eats with them.” This protest of the Pharisees was based on the fact and reality that Jesus ministered. Jesus has received the sinners. He has received the tax collectors. Jesus ate with the sinners. Jesus accepted the Samaritan woman. Jesus Himself got into the Land of Samaritan. Jesus visited Peter fishing. Jesus ate with Peter and other coworkers. And Jesus still wants to have Peter as His beloved disciples.
This is how God wants the churches to do today. Receiving the sinner means acceptance. Jesus’ eating with the sinner shows us how Jesus has forgiven them. The Pharisees were living according to the Torah. But they did not understand the ministry of Jesus. Consequently, they blocked the way Jesus wants to go on.
Jesus even loved the sinners. Jesus even came to the sinners’ world. Jesus would sit among the sinners. But the Pharisees were not. They keep themselves away from the sinners. Who is the sinner indeed?
3. There is Heaven because of the Lost.
So now to the Pharisees, Jesus gave these teachings. They are three parables in a row. At the same time, at the same spot, to the Pharisees Jesus challenged.
These parables go this way. The parable of the lost sheep is the first one. “You will be so glad if you could find one lost sheep. You will carry it on your shoulders, rejoicing, having a celebration with your friend.” If you don't agree with what Jesus is now talking abut, you are not a good shepherd.
7” Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over a sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
Jesus now expanded His teaching to the second parable. That is the parable of the lost coin.
8” Just so, I tell you, there is a joy by the angel of God over one sinner who repents.
The third parable that Jesus has delivered to the Pharisees was the parable of the Prodigal Son. One son left his father getting his portion from his father. The journey of life away his father led him a very serious situation. The son had a hard time that he could not have any food at all. Nobody could spare him any help. All things what he could do left him still hungered. The Son realized that he was wrong. When we realize that we are wrong, then there will be still hoping for us.
20” And he arose and came to his father.
The second son repented, and he returned to his father. The father received him as he was. The father ate with his prodigal son. There is always food in the house of father. There is always sweet dream in the house of father.
Jesus accepted the sinners. Jesus ate with the sinners. The father accepted the prodigal son. The father ate with his prodigal son.
But the first son disliked over what his father was doing. The first son was filled with the feeling of condemnation. The first son would not want his brother to come home. He hated his brother.
The Pharisees did not accept the sinners. The first son did not want to receive his brother. But Jesus receives the sinners. He forgave His man, Peter.
Let us listen to what the father said to his first son.
Luke 15:31 “And he said to him, ‘Son you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.’…
This is how the first son complained. The first son has concerning about only what his father has. Here is what the big brother said to his father. 29” “…you never give me a young goat…” “…so I could celebrate with my friends.” 30”…your property…”, “…fattened calf for him…” His eyes always being focused on the things what his father has.
4. Jesus’ Relationship with God
However, Jesus teaches us in the Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6: 9-13) how to live. Let us see how Jesus has kept the relationship with Father.
Jesus gave God the first place in His Life. “Your kingdom come”, Jesus wanted Kingdom of God to come. “Your will be done”’ Not my will, but the will of God. There is a comparison of two relationships. The first son had no idea of his father’s broken heart on the lost son. First son addressed his brother not as own brother. Instead, he called his brother as ‘your son.’ The lost son of HHim is the brother of us. In this way,
If the second son was lost out of the father’s house, the first son was lost in the house of father. While the second son was lost and found, the first son was lost and has not returned to his father.
Jesus loves the lost to die. Do we love our brothers as much as Jesus does?
Jesus loves the sinners to give Him as the sacrifice. Do we love our neighbors as much as we love ourselves?
Jesus has kept the intimate relationship with Father. How is your relationship with God? Like the first son, are you mad at God? Like the second son, are you away from home?
Like the Pharisees, do you still have uncomfortable relation with what Jesus teaches in the Church?
Jesus, the head of the church, loves the sinners to come. Join into His ministry today.
May God bless us.