Who am I accused of welcoming?


What do you sense the Lord saying to you in this passage?

“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” (Luke 15:2)
The religious leaders raise this as a criticism of Jesus.
But based on Jesus’s response, I can hear him saying ‘thank you!’
Jesus uses the shepherd parable to explain his intense zeal for people.
He is especially concerned about the lost, the least and the left out.
Have I ever been accused by religious peers or powers of being too gracious?
What would it take for me to be seen as being too close to “sinners”?
Who are the “sinners” that our religious communities are struggling with?
Am I – are we – being seen as too welcoming, too accepting, too open?
And is that an insult, or is it an indication we’re working with Jesus?
We set up our church bubbles to help us, but do they end up hindering us?
Though our signs may say ‘all are welcome’, we’re more a safe place for the 99.
What if we were known as the church that “welcomes sinners and eats with them.” (Luke 15:2)
Better that than be accused by Jesus of not welcoming sinners and not eating with them.
I’d rather rejoice with Jesus and the angels than eat with the unwelcoming complainers.
Lord, show me what to do to be accused of being too welcoming and too gracious, and give me the intense zeal to do it!


  1. “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” It is so easy to be put off with people who are different than us. I know I need to make an extra effort to talk a stranger – especially when the person is a bit ‘strange’ in my eyes: tattoos, rings all over, unkempt looking. I’m just as guilty of profiling as the people in Jesus day. Lord help me to be more welcoming of all people!

  2. I need to be like Christ unto the people I meet and greet. As far as it depends upon me I must live at peace with all mankind – accepting one another in His name. I need to be a friend unto them. I remember while working in a third world country with our advisor who came smiling with his friend. I asked how long he knew him and where they met. The answer – just a minute ago. I too need to be that welcoming.

    Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord
    Hosanna Hosanna Ho, Hosanna

    King of Israel
    Welcome to our Hearts
    Here to reign in righteousness
    Oh, ruler of the World
    Ruler of our Hearts
    Now ascend your throne

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