Friday, September 2, 2011
He went out again beside the sea, and all the crowd was coming to him, and he was teaching them. And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, "Follow me." And he rose and followed him.
And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, "Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?" And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners."
I read this recently and it dawned on me that Jesus isn’t speaking of those reclining at the table with him in a disparaging tone…He is, in essence, inviting the Pharisees to join Him, but first they need to realize they are sick too!
I heard Tullian Tchividjian share in his recent series on Grace that we so often think we have to DO DO DO our Christianity (Exactly like the Pharisees). This thinking ends one of two ways…pride (ie: sin) in how well we have done, or despair (faithlessness ie: sin), cuz we just “can’t get ‘er done”.
When will we realize, "It is finished" really means just that?
Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. And people came and said to him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?" And Jesus said to them, "Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day. No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins."
The message of God’s grace is “new wine for fresh wineskins”.
Attempting to attach True grace to works-based Christianity will only prolong the misleading notion that we somehow have a part in our redemption.
We tend to forget the order of things concerning our salvation.
1. It’s God’s gift (we ALL need it, tax collectors and Pharisees alike)
2. It’s not our works (Hello!? We all try to sneak this method by…some for much loooonger than others)
3. We’ve been created IN Christ Jesus for good works
4. Rinse, repeat.