“Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach.” – Luke 15:1 NLT
One absolute fact we can never get away from is this: The people least like Jesus loved listening to Jesus. There was something about the most righteous human being who had ever lived that was attractive to least righteous people alive.
That observation should shake every believer to the core. Because if this is true, either notorious sinners are coming to your church, or Jesus’ voice is not heard there. Notorious sinners loved listening to Jesus because Jesus clearly had a notorious love for them.
He knew who He had come for: He came to seek and save the lost. He had little patience for those who were playing church. When He went to dinner at the Pharisee’s homes, He was often less-than polite. But when He was on the streets, He opened the Kingdom up to those who had always been shut out of the temple because of their sin.
Even so, Jesus never said what people wanted to hear. He said what needed to be said in a way that people could hear it. He thought about who His listeners were, and crafted His message in a way that made sense to them.
Do you have a notorious love for sinners? If so, your goal will be His: To seek and save. If so, your method will be His: To modify they way you say things without sacrificing what Jesus wants you to say.