Jesus Christ is the embodiment of God’s loving kindness towards us. For as sinners, we have no right to claim that any of our good works will get us any closer to heaven…for they won’t. It is only by putting our faith and trust in Jesus that we can be saved…and it is only by His unmerited grace and mercy towards us that it can happen.
As His ministry became more well-known, Jesus became more popular among the social outcasts. Why? Because He wasn’t concerned about maintaining His squeaky clean image, or only being seen with the right people. Jesus went where the need was. So here we find Jesus at a large banquet made up of every kind of questionable personality and reputation. But He looked beyond the person and saw their potential… and wasn’t afraid to go where they lived. You won’t find the healthy in the hospital…you’ll only find the sick. Just as you won’t find most lost sitting in the pews on Sunday. As Christians, we need to be willing, just like Jesus, to go where the need is.
After pondering this verse, an old 1960’s praise song came to mind. It’s premise comes from John 13:34-35, where Jesus is giving the command to love one another, “for by this all men will know that you are My disciples.” The title of the song is, “They will know we are Christians by our love.” So my question to you today is… does the world know you by the love you share with the lost? And does the world recognize your Church Body for its love for those outside the four walls of the sanctuary? We are to love one another, but we are to also take that love out to reach the unsaved.
I think wise King Solomon summed it up best in Ecclesiastes 3:11 when he wrote, “God has set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” We can’t begin to know the mind of God, or even start to grasp His majesty and power. We can only trust in His love and faithfulness towards us and walk in obedience…knowing He is in control of every detail of our life. For nothing happens to us that hasn’t already passed through God’s hands.
Jesus came to not only destroy the barrier…the dividing wall…the chasm between God and us, but He came to abolish in His flesh the Law with all its commandments and regulations. (Ephesians 2: 14-15) So in the eyes of Jesus, there is no partiality, bias, or prejudice. For Believers are all children of God and subject equally to His grace, mercy, and blessings…from the multi-millionaire follower of Jesus in Hollywood to the blue-collar laborer in fellowship with Christ in Detroit, Michigan. We are all blessed in our faith of Jesus.
God’s plan and purpose…His Will for us, has been set in stone since before the dawn of mankind. His Will is that all may come to a saving knowledge of His Son, Jesus Christ. He has established His Will for our well-being, that as long as we obey, we can only benefit from it. So it’s preposterous for us to think that we can somehow manipulate God’s Will. In Proverbs 19:21 it says, ” Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” We can ignore Him, mock or defile Him…but we’re never going to change His Will for our life.
The Apostle Paul was well acquainted with adversity and poverty. In I Corinthians 4:11-12 he explains his plight, “To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world.” So is it surprising to see Paul write here, ” I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…”? Contentment in our life can be as simple as looking at the glass as half full, rather than half empty during trials and tests. It can be expressing gratitude to God for the rain, (the blessings) in the midst of the raging storm in our life. For the secret to personal contentment for anyone can only be found in the deep and abiding relationship with God the Father.