Do you ever find yourself reading through these stories about Jesus and you just shake your head at how dumb the Pharisees are? At our best, we read these stories and we’re thankful that Jesus would throw a party for someone like me. These parables that Jesus tells is pointing to a heavenly reality of what he is depicting here on earth. If you knew that all of heaven was throwing a party, wouldn’t you want to throw a party too?
We are willing to be excited when a sinner repents and turns to Jesus. Where these stories create tension, is that Jesus is willing to take the time to be fully present to the tax collectors and sinners. They repent and follow Jesus because of what they experience in his presence. Jesus has an amazing ability of making us uncomfortable. If you aren’t uncomfortable reading this passage, you need to read it again and again till you are uncomfortable. Who is it that you would be willing to celebrate their conversion but would struggle to eat with before their conversion?
The more attune we are to following God the more we will have eyes to see what is going on in heaven. When we see what is going on in heaven, it is only natural to bring that reality to earth. Who in your life are you struggling to love like God loves? Which community of people upset you the most? How can you develop eyes to see them the way God sees them?
This week of Advent is focused on peace. What does it mean to be at peace because of what Christ did on the cross and in the resurrection for you? How does this peace then allow you to share it with “tax collectors and sinners”? Identify a group you do not have peace in your soul about and continually pray that God will open your eyes to see them the way he sees them.