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Luke 5:27-32, How Did Jesus Pull That Off?

Key Verse

I have come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance.
— Luke 5:32

RCL Daily Devotion for Wednesday, February 13, 2019

RCL Daily Devotions written by Daniel D. Maurer from RCL Worship Resources (see more).

“Love the sinner, but not the sin.”

Yeah, we’ve all heard that before. But I can’t help but wonder how Jesus applied this in his own ministry.

Most of the time, I believe the above phrase is only a tacit justification for people to look down on others. “Well . . . “ they say,
”I don’t hate the sinner themselves, I only hate the sin. I love the sinner.” Then they go about supporting legislation that goes fully against and hurts the group they supposedly “love.”

But, looking at the witness of scripture, it’s interesting what happens. We don’t hear ANYTHING in the story about Jesus finally sitting down with the tax collectors and setting them straight. We don’t read anything like this: “And after Jesus had dined with the tax collectors he reminded them what terrible things they did and told them to set themselves straight. Later, Jesus helped set a law in place that tax collectors could not rent apartments in his area of the city.”

No. All Jesus does is spend time with them. He drinks wine. He honors them by coming to their table. And . . . ? Well, that’s it! Scripture doesn’t tell us anything more about it.

I think we are called to act a little more like Jesus. And we are called to not set up a false dichotomy of sinner vs. sins. There are only people, broken people for sure, but just people.

God, open my heart to learn from others and be present for all. Amen.

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Luke 5:27-32

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Psalm 1, The Two Ways