All the tax collectors and sinners were approaching to listen to Him.
Our ability to approach someone is usually determined by our perception of the person we are approaching. In any normal circumstance you would not find a tax collector or a sinner approaching a teacher of the law with any sort of readiness. However a very different picture is painted here in the gospel of Luke. We see those that were isolated and looked down upon in society approaching a human who in any other situation would not be occurring. It does not say some sinners, but all approached. Why did they approach this man named Jesus? To listen to Him. Fascinating. Listening is a lost art for many of us, the act of learning, an act of desire. Who we listen to is where we are influenced. The place of listening is the place of potential transformation. The people we approach to learn from shows what we value and desire. These humans approached this man Jesus to listen. They would of never approached a religious leader like this before, but something was different.
To what degree they knew that Jesus was both fully human and fully God we may not be sure, but it is certain they knew this Jesus was someone who was doing miracles, someone of truth, someone of revealing love. In Luke 15 we see Jesus clearly reveal His heart for lost humanity. What is amazing is that, even while Jesus is talking about rescuing lost humanity, the lost humanity feel so loved and accepted that they approach Him.
Who are we approaching? Do we feel we can approach God like these tax collectors and sinners? Or are we constantly running from God? Perhaps our lack of approaching God is because our perception of Him is wrong. This is something that Jesus wants to shift in our lives because as long as we are not approaching Him we continue to not know who He is and therefore not know who we are. Being fully alive as humans is a lost art because we have lost sight of who the Artist is. He desires to paint a new image on the consciousness of our human minds to see how loving, gracious, wondrous, glorious, kind, gentle, patient and majestic He is. To reveal to us as His kids how approachable He is as our Father. He will restore our humanity. He will find what we have lost—which is who we truly are. We may be sinners, but in His love we become His saints, humans in relationship with their creator.
Would you join me in approaching Him everyday for 92 days to listen and become fully alive?
// Pastor Josh Kelse