My life’s purpose is “to live passionately for and like Jesus.” I am a long way from my goal. But one thing is absolutely certain. I will never make any progress if I am not constantly examining the gospel record for how Jesus lived. Last night before dropping off to sleep I was reading in Matthew 9 when verses 9 and 10 arrested my attention.
“As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man called Matthew, sitting in the tax collector’s booth; and He said to him,
And he got up and followed Him.
Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples.”
He never compromised the Torah. He never compromised the truth. He never lowered the standards or changed the standards of God’s law. He challenged people to a high level of personal commitment to Himself.
The effect of Jesus’s model was in three directions:
- His disciples followed him and associated with types of people that assaulted the religious sensitivities of the religious people of the day.
- His enemies were completely scandalized by his associations with “sinners.”
- Many other sinners, ostracized by the religious people of the day, began to draw near to Jesus and the disciples.
Am I becoming like Jesus? Are sinners drawn to me? Am I willing to associate with others that may be on the outside of religious sensibilities today? Do I? Do you?.
Maybe the reason the church is not as influential as it should be is not because of personal or governmental oppression or regulation, or intimidation but because we aren’t living passionately FOR and LIKE Jesus?
What do you think?