We were singing Jesus Messiah by Chris Tomlin in church last week. There are two lines that speak of Jesus as:
The rescue for sinners
The ransom from Heaven
Along the way I found myself singing, “The rescue from sinners”. I smiled to myself then I started thinking how appropriate it was in a number of ways.
First, when we look at the lost, sad and often unlovable world in which we live, how easy it is to wish for God to rescue us from everyone and everything around us. “Take us away from all this, Lord. Take us into heaven, where only the good and nice and lovable people are.”
It was also particularly appropriate because the sermon was based on Luke 7:36-50; the story of Simon the Pharisee. Simon wanted Jesus to ‘rescue’ him from the sinful woman who had invaded his house and taken over his dinner party. She didn’t belong there; it was his party and he was entertaining Jesus–or entertaining his friends with Jesus (we’re not told what his motive was). And she was a nasty, horrible sinful person. “And, if Jesus really was a prophet, he would know all about this woman and the kind of sinful life she lives.”
But Jesus’ message to Simon, and to me, was that we are all in the same boat. There may be some, Jesus said in the story he told, who owe less than others, but we all owe; we all fall short of God’s standards. Whether it’s five or five hundred or five hundred thousand, we are all in debt to God and none of us can hope to repay. But God doesn’t seem very interested in how much we owe; only in how much we love.
So we may as well get used to being together; we may as well get used to group hugs with the poor and the lame and the not so pleasant, because there’s no rescue plan for individuals, to take us away from each other. Christ died for us all. And the love that he wants to give to my neighbour? Yes the ‘unlovable’ one. Well, he wants me to pass it on.
- Jesus, friend of sinners (lmelonakos.wordpress.com)
- Praying as Humble Sinner by Mark D. Roberts (trinityspeaks.wordpress.com)