Today’s Scripture: Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. Luke 15:1-2

In Luke chapter 15, Jesus told three different, but similar, parables. Each parable dealt with something that was lost: a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son. All three were given in answer to the Pharisees questioning Jesus. In the context of the chapter, He was going into a home and ministering to sinners. All throughout Scripture we see Jesus ministering to sinners. He had a lot of compassion and tolerance for people who knew their condition.

Those who He didn’t have much tolerance for were those who thought they were fine. He had no patience for the religious elite of the day, who were checking off the list of things they did do or didn’t do. I would equate that with the average modern church-going American. They check off the list: “I’ve done these things, I’ve said these certain prayers, I’ve given to charity,” and they think they are fine in their standing before God. Friend, God is not looking at your actions; He is looking at your heart and your attitude.

These people that Jesus ministered to had no question that they were sinners. They knew their faults and failures. Jesus spent time helping them, ministering to them, and showing them compassion. So, to answer the Pharisee’s criticism of why He would spend time with sinners, Jesus told these three parables.

Let me encourage you to take some time this week and read through all three parables of Luke 15. As you do, ask the Lord to help you have that same compassion for those who are lost.

Devotional by Jim Scudder, Jr.