A couple of thoughts from today’s reading and meditation.
1. Jesus is serious about His followers humility.
Matthew 21:31–32 (NLT): “I tell you the truth, corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the Kingdom of God before you do. 32 For John the Baptist came and showed you the right way to live, but you didn’t believe him, while tax collectors and prostitutes did. And even when you saw this happening, you refused to believe him and repent of your sins.
Jesus makes it painfully clear that when we have “enough” of Jesus, just enough to cover or “small sin” we don’t get it. Tax collectors may not seem like a big deal to us. That’s because we don’t understand that tax collectors were viewed as traitors who had walked away from God.
However, prostitutes get our full attention. We “get it” but we choose to ignore it. When is the last time you heard people at church talking about how much they had to learn from a “whore” or “hooker”? Yeah, that’s what I thought…crickets.
We must see that our sins, the “small ones” that we dismiss have separated us from God as much as other peoples sins that we find more unacceptable than our own.
The reality is, they see their desperate need for God more than most of us “good religious” people.
If we would stop turning up our noses, we may actually learn we have more in common with our “undesirable neighbors” than we are willing to admit.
That ties in to my second thought.
2. Jesus warned me…and you that we may be some of the “many” whose love will grow cold.
Matthew 24:12–14 (NLT): 12 Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.
Jesus isn’t only talking about “the world’s” sin. When we claim to be following Jesus but our love for others “grows cold” we aren’t willing to preach/proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom. We love ourselves, our self righteousness, our pride, our “holier than others” attitude so much we are willing to judge rather than love.
As I continue to “become a follower” I am learning that I can love others more when I recognize that my ugly sin is just as ugly as I see theirs. I see I am EQUALLY in need of Jesus at every moment. I may know who He is, but I have lost focus on how greatly all of us need Him and His forgiveness at all times.
Repentance keeps us humble. Humility fuels our love for people. It’s only when we see how repugnant our sin is that we appreciate the covering provided for us through being immersed into Jesus. We take on His identity.
What would it be like for you to show other people the price God paid to make us all gloriously beautiful?
I hope you are having some thoughts of your own as we walk this week together. I’d love to hear from you. You can comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org