Religion’s Offense With Sinners & Forgiveness: When Reputation Meets Forgiveness In the House of Religion

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke. More specifically today’s passage is found in the first thirty-six verses of the sixth chapter of this New Testament book. “And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands. And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days? And Jesus answering them said, have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when he himself was an hungred, and they which were with him; How he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the shewbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone? And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath” (Luke 6:1-5). “And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered. And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him. But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth. Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? To save life, or to destroy it? And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other. And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus” (Luke 6:6-11). “And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom he also named apostles; Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartolommeo, Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor” (Luke 6:12-16). “And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of the people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases; and they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all” (Luke 6:17-19). “And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets. But woe unto you that are rich! For ye have received your consolation. Woe unto you that are full! For ye shall hunger> Woe unto you that laugh now! For ye shall mourn and weep. Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! For so did their fathers to the false prophets” (Luke 6:20-26). “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? For sinners also love those that love them. And if. Ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? For sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? For sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the us thankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful” (Luke 6:27-36). When you come to the sixth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke you will find it beginning with two distinct accounts which would find and place Jesus directly at odds with the religious system and community of that generation. The more you read the New Testament gospel narratives the more you will encounter and come face to face with the awesome and incredible truth that the Lord Jesus continually and regularly found Himself at odds with the religious system and community during those days. What we must needs understand is that when you read the words found in the four New Testament gospels you will find Jesus not only at odds with the religious leaders of that day but also with the religious Jews which were present in the midst of Judaea, Jerusalem and Galilee. It is absolutely impossible to read the words found in the four gospels for within it you can and will be brought face to face with the tremendous amount of conflict the Lord Jesus had and found Himself experiencing together with the religious leaders and system of that day. You cannot read the four gospel narratives without encountering and coming face to face with the Lord Jesus being at odds with the religious system and community—not only because of the words which He would speak but also because of the works which He would do. With this being said, however, it is absolutely necessary to read the words found in this passage of Scripture for within it we are brought face to face with the religious system and community not only being indignant with Jesus because of His willingness to heal on the sabbath but you will also find them indignant with His disciples. You can so read the words found in this passage of Scripture and not encounter the tremendous truth surrounding the truth surrounding Jesus’ conflict with the religious leaders and religious system present during those days. Oh there is something incredibly unique and powerful about the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for within it we are brought face to face with the truth surrounding the conflict and struggle Jesus regularly and routinely had with the religious leaders and system which was present during those days. As you begin reading the words found in this passage of Scripture you will find that it centers upon the sabbath days—something which the religious Jews and the religious leaders treated with all seriousness. Oh the more you read the four gospel narratives the more you will encounter the awesome truth surrounding Jesus’ movement and activity on the sabbath day for He would continually engage Himself in the work of the Father—even on the sabbath day. The four gospel narrative accounts we find in the New Testament are incredibly unique and powerful when you take the time to consider it for within it we are brought face to face with the truth surrounding the sabbath day and how it would be on the sabbath day(s) the Lord Jesus would walk in obedience to the will which the Father had ordained and appointed for Him to do. The four gospels are replete with example after example of the Lord Jesus engaging Himself in teaching on the sabbath—and not only teaching on the sabbath but also healing others on the sabbath. The four gospel narratives are incredibly unique and powerful when you take the time to consider it for within them you will encounter the tremendous truth surrounding the Lord Jesus teaching in the synagogues on the sabbath day. With this being said, however, you will not only find Jesus teaching in the synagogues on the sabbath days but you will also find Him healing those who were in need on the sabbath. The gospel narratives are incredibly unique when you take the time to think about them for they bring you face to face with the absolutely wonderful truth surrounding the public ministry of the Lord Jesus and how the ministry He would engage Himself in would indeed place Him direct at odds with the religious leaders which were present during those days. I read the words which are found in the sixth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the physician Luke and I can’t help but find the words and language here incredibly astounding and intriguing. Within the opening verses of this chapter and passage of Scripture you will find Luke writing how Jesus—on the second sabbath after the first—walking through the corn fields. It would be there in the midst of the corn fields the disciples would pluck the ears of corn and did eat rubbing them with their hands. Now while on the surface this would not appear to be anything significant you will find that as you read the words present in this passage of Scripture the Pharisees observing the disciples of Jesus and their actions. If there is one thing we must needs recognize when reading this passage it’s that if the actions of the disciples did not take place on the sabbath day the Pharisees would have taken no offense and found no fault with the disciples. Because, however, this would take place on the sabbath day and because the Pharisees were those who carefully guarded the sabbath and that which would and could take place on it they would find fault with the disciples of the Lord Jesus. You cannot read the words found in this passage of Scripture and not encounter and come face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding the disciples merely plucking ears of corn from the stalks and eating them on the sabbath day. This simple act of plucking ears of corn on the sabbath and eating them while rubbing them in their hands would cause the Pharisees to become indignant with the disciples of the Lord Jesus for they would not find fault with Jesus on this particular occasion but would instead find fault with His disciples. While the gospel narratives are replete with examples of the Pharisees being indignant with Jesus because of the words which He spoke and the works which He wrought in the midst of the land we find them turning and directing their attention to the disciples themselves. Here in this passage and here on this particular day the Pharisees would direct their angst, their offense, their accusation, their judgment, their criticism and their condemnation toward and against the disciples of the Lord Jesus. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for within it we find the Pharisees directing their accusation, their fault(s), their offense, their condemnation and even their judgment against the disciples of Jesus. It would be in this very chapter the Lord Jesus would call unto Himself His disciples and ordain and appoint twelve of them as apostles and yet even before we find this to be true we find the Pharisees being offended with and by the disciples because of their actions on the sabbath day. As you read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will find the Pharisees observing the disciples doing that which they perceived as being unlawful on the sabbath. Oh if there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture it’s that there was a vast difference between that which was unlawful and not permitted on the sabbath day according to the Law of Moses and that which was considered to be lawful and permissible. The Pharisees, the religious Jews, the scribes, the chief priests, the elders of the people and the like would carefully guard the sabbath day and I would dare say continually monitored the events which would take place on those days—almost as if they were themselves some secret enforcement group over the sabbath. Oh it is as I read the words found in this passage of Scripture I am brought face to face with the fact that the Pharisees might very well have viewed themselves as those who needed to guard the sabbath day—and not only guard the sabbath day but also indict, condemn, judge and accuse any whom they found to be guilty of fault and wrongdoing on that particular day. The religious leaders—the Pharisees, the scribes, the elders, the chief priests and the like—would always be those who would find fault with Jesus and yet on this particular occasion we find them taking offense with the disciples. I read the words presented in this passage of Scripture and I can’t help but be utterly and completely captivated with the mindset of the Pharisees. As I read the words which are found here in this passage I can’t help but wonder whether or not the Pharisees were deliberately and intentionally watching the Lord Jesus together with His disciples. Scripture makes it very clear that the religious leaders and community during the days of Jesus would continually look for reasons and ways they might accuse and find fault with Him. It is impossible to read the four gospel narratives and not encounter and come face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding the religious leaders which were present during the days of Jesus and how they without hesitation continually watched and carefully observed His actions among the people. What’s more is that not only did they watch His actions carefully and closely but they also listened intently to the words which He would speak in the synagogue and unto those who were present during those days. You cannot read the four gospel narratives and not encounter the absolutely wonderful truth surrounding Jesus’ continual conflict and struggle with the religious leaders of that day—those who not only regularly found offense with Him but also those who would seek to find reason to accuse Him. Time and time again the religious leaders of those days would carefully watch and observe the actions of the Lord Jesus as we can and will see in this passage of Scripture. Here in this passage of Scripture we not only find the disciples of Jesus being the target of the accusation, the judgment and the condemnation of the Pharisees but later on we even find Jesus Himself being carefully watched in the synagogue to see whether or not He would heal a man on the sabbath. All of this would come directly on the heels of Jesus being present in what might have been either an individual house or a synagogue and a man who was sick with the palsy being let down through the roof before Jesus since there was no way for him to be brought through the front door. I am absolutely convinced that if you want to truly recognize and understand the words and language found in the sixth chapter of this New Testament gospel narrative you must needs pay close attention to the words which are located in the fourth chapter. It is when you read the fourth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke you can and will be brought face to face with a man who was sick with a palsy and brought into the presence of Jesus and before Jesus would even address and speak to the sickness that plagued his physical body He would first address the condition of his soul. I have to admit the more I have read this passage of Scripture the more I am brought face to face with the fact that Jesus could have addressed the man’s physical condition without addressing the condition of his soul. I truly love the words and language we find here for within it we find the Lord Jesus speaking directly unto this man who was sick with the palsy and declaring unto him that his sins were forgiven him. In all reality this reminds me of the declaration the living God made in response to Solomon after Solomon would dedicate the Temple and then ask for the favor and blessing of the living God upon the house that was built in and for His name. It would be in the sixth chapter of the book of Second Chronicles we find Solomon entreating the LORD on behalf of the Temple He had built for the name and fame of the living God. I am absolutely convinced this is absolutely necessary for us to recognize for when the living God responded to Solomon He would give him an incredible promise of His provision and blessing upon the land—and not simply the Temple which Solomon had built for His name. This is something we must needs recognize and understand for when the Lord God responded to Solomon He would indeed speak of those who were called by His name and when they humble themselves and pray and seek His face and how He would respond to their prayers and cries. The living and eternal God would declare that He would hear from heaven, however, the order which He gave concerning His response is absolutely incredible. It’s worth nothing that the living God did not declare that he would hear from heaven and heal their land first but would hear from heaven and forgive their sins. This is something we must needs recognize and understand for the living God seems to be concerned more with the forgiveness of the sins of the people than the healing of the land—this despite the fact that He would also heal the land as well. Having said this I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the sixth and seventh chapters of the Old Testament historical book of Second Chronicles concerning Solomon’s prayer to the living God as well as the LORD’s response to Solomon. I would also invite you to consider the words which are found in the second chapters of both the prophetic book of Jeremiah and the prophetic book of Joel: “Then said Solomon, The LORD hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness. But I have build an house of habitation for thee, and a place for thy dwelling for ever. And the king turned his face, and blessed the whole congregation of Israel: and all the congregation of Israel stood. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, who hath with his hands fulfilled that which he spake with his mouth to my father David, saying, Since the day that I brought forth my people out of the land of Egypt I chose no city among all the tribes of Israel to build an house in, that my name might be there; neither chose I any man to be a ruler over my people Israel: but I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel. Now it was in the heart of David my father to build an house for the name of the LORD God of Israel. But the LORD said to David my father, Forasmuch as it was in thine heart to build an house for my name, thou didst well in that it was in thine heart: Notwithstanding thou shalt not build the house; but thy son which shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house for my name. The LORD therefore hath performed his word that he hath spoken: for I am risen up in the room of David my father, and am set on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised, and have built the house for the name of the LORD God of Israel. And in it have I put the ark, wherein is the covenant of the LORD, that he made with the children of Israel” (2 Chronicles 6:1-11). “And he stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands: For Solomon had made a brasen scaffold, of five cubits long, and five cubits broad, and three cubits high, and had set it in the midst of the court: and upon it he stood, and kneeled down upon his knees before all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven, and said, O LORD god of Israel, there is no God like thee in the heaven, nor in the earth; which keenest covenant, and shewest mercy unto thy servants, that walk before thee with all their hearts: thou which hast kept with thy servant David my father that which thou hast promised him; and spakest with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thine hand, as it is this day. Now therefore, O LORD God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that which thou hast promised him, saying, There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit upon the throne of Israel; yet so that thy children take heed to their way to walk in my law, as thou hast walked before me. Now then, O LORD God of Israel, let thy word be verified, which thou hast spoken unto thy servant David” (2 Chronicles 6:12-17). “But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built! Have respect therefore to the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O LORD my God, to hearken unto the cry and the prayer which thy servant prayeth before thee: that thine eyes may be open upon this house day and night, upon the place whereof thou hast said that thou wouldest put thy name there; to hearken unto the prayer which thy servant prayeth toward this place. Hearken therefore unto the supplications of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, which they shall make toward this place: hear thou from thy dwelling place, even from heaven; and when thou hearest, forgive” (2 Chronicles 6:18-21). “If a man sin against his neighbour, and an oath be laid upon him to make him swear, and the oath come before thine altar in this house; then hear thou from heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, by requiring the wicked, by recompensing his way upon his own head; and by justifying the righteous, by giving him according to his righteousness” (2 Chronicles 6:22-23). “And thy people Israel be put to the worse before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee; and shall return and confess thy name, and pray and make supplication before thee in this house; then hear thou from the heavens, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which thou gavest to them and to their fathers” (2 Chronicles 6:24-25). “When the heaven is shut up and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; yet if thy pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou dost afflict them; then hear thou from heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, when thou hast taught them the good way, wherein they should walk; and send rain upon thy land, which thou hast given unto thy people for an inheritance” (2 Chronicles 6:26-27). “If there be dearth in the land, if there be pestilence, if there be blasting, or mildew, locusts, or caterpillars; if their enemies besiege them in the cites of their land; whatsoever restore or whatsoever sickness there be: Then what prayer or what supplication soever shall be made of any man, or of all thy people Israel, when every one shall know his own sore and his own grief, and shall spread forth his hands in this house: then hear thou from heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive and render unto every man according unto all his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men) that they may fear thee, to walk in thy ways, so long as they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers” (2 Chronicles 6:28-31). “Moreover concerning the stranger, which is not of thy people L’Oréal, but is come from a far country for thy great name’s sake, and thy mighty hand, and thy stretched out arm; if they come and pray in this house; then hear thou from the heavens, even from thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for; that all people of the earth may know thy name, and fear thee, as doth thy people Israel, and may know that this house which I have built is called by thy name” (2 Chronicles 6:32-33). “If thy people go out to war against their enemies by the way that thou shalt send them, and they pray unto thee toward this city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name; then hear thou from the heavens their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause. If they sin against thee, (for there is no man which sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them over before their enemies, and they carry them away captives unto a land far off or near; yet if they bethink themselves in the land whither they are carried captive, and turn and pray unto thee in the land of their captivity, saying, We have sinned, we have done amiss, and have dealt wickedly; if they shall return to thee with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, whither they have carried them captives, and pray toward their land, which thou gavest up their fathers, and toward the city which thou hast chosen, and toward the house which I have built for thy name: then hear thou from the heavens, even from thy dwelling place, their prayer and their supplications, and maintain their cause, and forgive thy people which have sinned against thee” (2 Chronicles 6:34-39). “Now, my God, let, I beseech thee, thine eyes be open, and let thine ears be attent unto the prayer that is made in this place. Now therefore arise, O LORD God, into thy resting place, thou, and the ark of thy strength: let thy priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, and let thy saints rejoice in goodness. O LORD God, turn not away the face of thine anointed: remember the mercies of David thy servant” (2 Chronicles 6:40-42). Now that you have seen the prayer which Solomon prayed at the dedication of the Temple I invite you to consider the response the LORD gave him that very night in a dream. It would be the second time the LORD God would appear unto Solomon via dream and yet it’s important to remember that before the living God responded to Solomon via a dream He would respond first with fire coming down from heaven and His glory filling the Temple. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the words and language that is found in this passage of Scripture for within this passage we find the living God responding to Solomon on a personal and individual level through a dream while He would respond on a corporate level through fire coming down from heaven as well as His glory filling the Temple which had just been built for His name. Oh it is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the seventh chapter of this Old Testament book beginning with the first verse. It is here where we will not only find the corporate response of the living God but also where we will find the person response of the living God as well. Oh that would would recognize and understand the difference between the corporate manifestation of the presence of the living God as well as the personal and intimate response He delivers unto us. Within this passage we see both the corporate response of fire coming down from heaven and consuming the burnt offering and the sacrifices and we find the glory filling the house. Oh please pay close attention to this for there is something incredibly unique and powerful about this as it brings us face to face with a corporate experience with the glory and fire of the living God as well as a personal and private experience with His presence. In all reality I am absolutely convinced there is a place for both of these experiences within the lives of the saints of God and disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh it is well and good if there is a corporate manifestation of the glory and fire of the living God in the midst of the people in the sanctuary, however, there must also be a personal and private encounter and experience with Him. It’s one thing for us to sense and experience the glory and presence of the living God in the midst of the sanctuary but can we indeed experience that same glory and presence in the secret place within our prayer closets? Consider if you will the following words which are found in the seventh chapter beginning to read with and from the first verse: “Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD’s house. And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the LORd, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever” (2 Chronicles 7:1-3). “Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before the LORD, and king Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty and two thousand oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep: so the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. And the priests waited on their offices: the Levites also with instruments of musick of the LORD, which David the. King had made to praise the LORD, because his mercy endureth for ever, when David praised by their ministry; and the priests sounded trumpets before them, and all Israel stood. Moreover Solomon hallowed the middle of the court that was before the house of the LORD: for there he offered burnt offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings, because the brasen altar which Solomon had made was not able to receive the burnt offerings, and the meat offerings, and the fat. Also at the same time Solomon kept the feast seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt. And in the eighth day they made a solemn assembly: for they kept the dedication of the altar seven days, and the feast seven days. And on the three and twentieth day of the seventh month he sent the people away into their tents, glad and merry in heart for the goodness that the LORD had shewed unto David, and to Solomon, and to Israel his people” (2 Chronicles 7:4-10). “Thus Solomon finished the house of the LORD, and the king’s house: and all that came into Solomon’s heart to make in the house of the LORD, and in his own house, he prosperously effected. And the LORD appeared to Solomon bay night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice. If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent uno the prayer that is made in this place. For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually. And as for thee, if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded thee, and shalt observe my statutes and my judgments; then will I stab list the throne of thy kingdom, according as I have covenanted with David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man to be ruler in Israel. But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations. And this house, w high is high, shall be an astonishment to every one that passeth by it; so that he shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and unto this house? And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath he brought all this evil upon them” (2 Chronicles 7:11-22). There is a great need for us to recognize and pay close attention to the words which we find in this passage of Scripture for within it we are brought face to face with the LORD God responding to Solomon with the emphatic declaration that if His people which were called by His name would humble themselves, and pray, and seek His face and turn from their wicked ways then would He hear from heaven. What’s more is not only would the living God hear from heaven but He would also forgive their sins and heal their land. This is something we must needs recognize for within this response of the Lord we find the manifestation of healing and forgiveness and how both are in response to the LORD hearing the prayer(s) of His people and responding to their seeking His face. What we find in the fifth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke is the Lord Jesus responding to the faith of these men who were undeterred by being unable to get this man who was sick with t he palsy through the front door. It would be when Jesus saw their faith He would be moved with compassion and would speak directly unto this man declaring unto him that his sins were forgiven. Oh I have always been fascinated with this particular narrative found in the ministry of Jesus for it’s almost as if this man must have had a greater desire within his heart and soul for forgiveness of sins than for the healing of his physical body. I can’t help but ask and wonder if this man had departed and left the presence of the Lord Jesus having been only forgiven of his sins would that have been enough. If this man was not healed of the palsy which plagued his body and yet found forgiveness of his sins would he still have been joyful and glad within his heart and soul? Oh I am trying to picture this man departing from the presence of Jesus still sick in his physical body with the palsy and yet forgiven of his sins. Oh how absolutely incredible this is when you take the time to think about it for this man would not only leave the presence of the Lord Jesus forgiven of his sins but he would also leave the presence of Jesus healed of the palsy that plagued his physical body. I sit here today thinking about the words found here and I can’t help but be brought face to face and confronted with the incredible truth that Jesus’ words which He spoke unto this man would so anger and infuriate the religious folk who were present. Those religious folk who were present on this particular occasion would hear the words the Lord Jesus would speak unto this man who was sick with the palsy and they would immediately grumble and murmur within themselves concerning what manner of man this was. What makes this all the more astonishing is when you consider what would happen in the very next chapter concerning Mary who would enter into the house of Simon the Pharisee uninvited with a very expensive alabaster jar. If there is one thing you will find when reading the words within the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke it’s that the religious community took great offense with sinners—and not only with publicans but also sinners. Not only this but you will find in the fifth chapter of this passage of Scripture the religious folk during those days being greatly angered with and offended by the Lord Jesus because He made the declaration that the sins of this woman were forgiven her. Oh I can’t help but read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for within this gospel we find the religious leaders taking offense and finding fault with Jesus when he would declare of this man that his sins were forgiven him. If you continue reading in this gospel narrative you will find that they took great offense with the Lord eating and drinking with publicans and sinners. This is something we dare not and must not lose sight of for within this gospel we find one of religion’s greatest conflicts and struggles—namely with the forgiveness of sins. What’s more is that not only does religion absolutely hate the forgiveness of sins—especially if it is done outside of their prescribed means and method—but they also have a difficult time with a Jesus who would associate Himself with publicans and sinners. This is something we must needs pay close attention to for it calls and draws our attention to the incredible conflict and struggle religion had with sinners—and not only with sinners but with sin itself. This particular truth concerning the conflict religion and religious leaders had with sinners, with sin itself and even with Jesus’ response to both is something which I am convinced is at the very heart and center of the gospel—and not only at the heart of the gospel but also at the very heart of this gospel. There is something incredibly powerful when you consider the following words which are found within this gospel for within it you will also find Jesus delivering a parable unto those who considered themselves righteous in their own eyes. It is within this New Testament gospel we find religion’s great offense and conflict with sin—and not only with sin but also with sinners. There is something we must needs understand and acknowledge when reading the words presented in this gospel for we not only encounter religion’s conflict with sinners and with sin itself but also the response of the Lord Jesus to sin. Stop and consider that not only would Jesus declare the sins of a man sick the palsy forgiven, and not only would the Lord Jesus also eat with publicans and sinners but He would also allow a woman who was perhaps perceived and understood by many to be a sinner to worship at His feet with an alabaster box, precious ointment and her tears. Jesus was wiling to eat and drink with sinners and even allow one who was a sinner to worship at His feet with an alabaster jar which she would break in the presence of all that the ointment contained inside might indeed be poured out upon the feet of the Lord Jesus. There is something absolutely astounding and remarkable about these passages for within them we not only find the Son of God who did not come into the world to condemn it but that the world through Him might be forgiven and cleansed of their sins. Oh with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words found in this gospel beginning with the third chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John as well as the fifth chapter of the epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Rome: “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into t he world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought of God” (John 3:12-21). “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commandeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement” (Romans 5:1-11). Within these passages of Scripture we find Jesus Himself declaring that God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might believe and be saved. It was Jesus who declared that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believed in Him would not perish but have everlasting life. Not only this but it would be the apostle Paul who would declare that God commended His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Oh we must needs recognize and understand for when you do it can and will help you better understand the words which we see in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke. Having said this I invite you to consider the following words which are found in this gospel beginning with the fifth chapter concerning the account of the man who was sick with the palsy: “And it came t0 pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, and saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he say down, and taught the people out of the ship. Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: and so was also James and John the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him” (Luke 5:1-11).

“And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them. And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him. And when t hey could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus. And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man thy sins are forgiven thee. And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts? Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house. And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day” (Luke 5:17-26). “And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me. And he left all, rose up, and followed him. And Levi made him a. Great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them. But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink publicans and sinners? And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:27-32). “And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat. And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee which had hidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that touché the him: for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that for giveth sins also? And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace” (Luke 7:36-49). “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as the other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for everything one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humble the himself shall be exalted” (Luke 19:9-14). It is absolutely necessary we pay close attention to the words presented within these passages of Scripture for within them we are brought face to face with religion’s controversy and offense with sinners—and not only with sinners but with sin itself. Not only this but within these passages we encounter the tremendous truth surrounding Jesus’ response to both sinners and sin alike. You cannot read the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke and not encounter and come face to face with Jesus’ compassion toward those who were indeed sinners. What’s more is that also within this passage of Scripture you will find Jesus’ response to those who were indeed sinners and acknowledged as such and those who who knew they were sinners and essentially made no admission of their sin, their shame and/or their guilt. If you read the words found in these passages of Scripture you will find there is one unique passage where one makes a stunning and striking admission of his being a sinner—the account of Simon called Peter aboard his own ship in the presence of Jesus after the supernatural miracle of the great catch of fish in the deep waters. It would be there in the midst of the depths of the sea Simon called Peter would fall down at the knees of Jesus and entreat Him to depart from him for he was a sinner. This particular account was one of the most stunning and striking admissions of sin, of sinning and of being a sinner within the entire gospel for there in the presence of the Lord Jesus we find Simon admitting to the Messiah that he was a sinner. What makes this all the more intriguing when you take the time to think about it is when you find that Jesus didn’t even appear to acknowledge the guilt of Simon nor judge or condemn him for his sin. Not only this but the Lord Jesus would appear to make no mention of his sin nor of his being a sinner but would instead declare unto him that from that day forward he would be made a fisher of men. This wonderful declaration of the Lord Jesus coupled together with the miracle in the depths of the sea would bring Simon to the place where he would forsake all to walk with and follow the Lord Jesus. As you continue reading the words which are found in these passages of Scripture you will find another reference of one who was willing to admit they were a sinner. Upon reading the parable which Jesus spoke in the nineteenth chapter you will find Jesus delivering this parable unto those who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others—something the Pharisees were incredibly good at doing throughout and during those days. We dare not and must not miss this parable for while it was indeed another parable the Lord Jesus told I would dare say it represented a number of those during Jesus’ days who recognized they were sinners and their need for grace. Within this parable you will find the Pharisee standing and praying in the Temple and not only thanking God but also boasting unto God that he was not as the other men were—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, and even as this publican was. This Pharisee would then go on to make an arrogant and ignorant boast of his own “righteousness” for he would speak of his tithing twice in the week and giving tithes of all he possessed. For the Pharisee his righteousness was not only compared to the alleged unrighteousness and sin of others but also measured by his own good deeds. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this particular truth for within it we are brought face to face with the awesome and challenging reality of this Pharisee who not only trusted in his own righteousness but who also looked down upon, judged, indicted, condemned and criticized the publican who was there in the Temple. This is an incredibly stark contrast from the publican who would enter into the temple for Jesus would then go on to describe the publican and his response to his own condition. Whereas the Pharisee bragged and boasted of his righteousness the publican would confess to his being a sinner—and perhaps not only confess to his being a sinner but also to his need of forgiveness, his need for mercy and his need for grace. Please don’t miss and lose sight of the words which are found within these passages of Scripture for within them we are brought face to face with the striking and alarming contrast between those who perceived and believed themselves to be righteous in their own eyes and those who recognized they were indeed sinners. What’s more is that it is within these passages of Scripture we are indeed brought face to face with the incredibly wonderful and powerful truth surrounding religion’s controversy with those whom they perceived as sinners. It would be in the depths of the sea Simon called Peter would admit in the presence of Jesus that he was a sinner—away from the presence of the Pharisees, the scribes, the elders of the people, the chief priests and those who trusted in their own righteousness rather than in the righteousness that comes by faith. With this being said we come to the following chapter where Jesus was present in the house—and not only where Jesus was present but where the power of the Lord was present to heal. It would be there in that house where the power of the Lord was present to heal and yet what we find is that despite the fact the power of the Lord was present to heal there would appear to be not a single one who was in the house who received healing from the Lord Jesus. It wouldn’t be until this man who was sick with the palsy was lowered down through an opening created in the roof on his own bed that Jesus would look upon and respond to the faith of the four men who had brought this man unto Jesus of Nazareth. The power of the Lord was present to heal and yet even with this being said the first that took place in that house was not healing but forgiveness. Although the power of the Lord was present in the house to heal the very first miracle and supernatural work of the living God in the life of anyone there would take place in the life of one who wasn’t even there originally. It would not be until this man who was sick with the palsy was lowered before Jesus in His presence and he saw the faith of the men who had brought him that He would respond by declaring unto him that his sins were forgiven. I absolutely love the words which are found in the fifth chapter of this New Testament gospel for within it we not only find Jesus forgiving the sins of one who was sick with the palsy before offering healing for his physical body but we also find Jesus calling one who was a publican. It would be in direct response to Jesus calling this publican who was perhaps also perceived by the religious and “righteous” community as being a sinner that Jesus would be invited into his house. Levi who was also called and known as Matthew would invite the Lord Jesus into his home where he would prepare a great dinner for Him that a number of publicans and sinners would sit down to meat to eat and drink with Jesus of Nazareth. This is something we must needs recognize and understand for not only would Jesus call one who was a publican to walk with and follow Him but He was also willing to enter into the house of this new disciple that He might eat, drink and fellowship together with him. It would be there in the midst of that house that a number of publicans and sinners would gather themselves together that they might not only hear and listen to the Lord Jesus but also eat, drink and fellowship together with Him. What makes this truly unique when you take the time to think about it is when you consider the fact that when the Pharisees and those who were religious and “righteous” in their own eyes beheld this particular sight they were greatly offended with the Lord Jesus. They would see Him eating and drinking with sinners and would immediately murmur and grumble within themselves that he would choose to associate Himself with and entertain sinners. This is something which requires great consideration on our part for Jesus would be aware of their thoughts and would speak directly unto them. It would be unto the religious and those who perceived themselves to be “righteous” in their own eyes Jesus would declare that those who are healthy do not need a physician but those who were sick. What’s more is the Lord Jesus would emphatically declare that He came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. It would be those words which would truly define the purpose and assignment of the Lord Jesus for He would indeed come unto the earth that he might call sinners unto repentance—those who were willing to admit their sin, their guilt, their iniquity, their shame, their condemnation and the like. If you continue moving throughout the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke you will come to the seventh chapter where we find one of the Pharisees desiring the Lord Jesus to eat with him. What I so love about this particular passage in the seventh chapter is that Jesus was willing to not only enter into the house of this Pharisee but he was also willing to sit down to meat and dine with him. What I absolutely love about this passage—and perhaps not only what I love but also what I find to be incredibly challenging—is how there is absolutely no mention of any of the activity that took place within the house of this Pharisee until after this woman from the city which was a sinner showed up uninvited and unannounced. Oh there is something truly unique and captivating about the words found in this passage of Scripture for within it we encounter and are brought face to face with the incredible reality truth surrounding this Pharisee desiring the Lord Jesus entering into his home and Jesus being willing to come in unto him that He might dine and sup with him. It would be there in the midst of the Pharisee’s house that a woman from the city who Luke was sure to describe and declare as a sinner would enter in without advanced notice and without any sort of statement of her arrival. Luke writes how when this woman from the city who was a sinner knew that Jesus was in the house she brought an alabaster box of ointment and stood at Jesus’ feet behind him weeping and began to wash his feet with tears and wiped them with the hairs of her head while kissing His feet and anointing them with the ointment. Here we have this wonderful and extravagant act of worship—and not only this act of worship but also this extreme act of humility before and in the presence of the Lord Jesus. This woman undoubtedly knew she was a sinner and knew her reputation and it was because of this she would enter into the presence of the Lord Jesus bringing this alabaster box containing this precious ointment which she would pour upon and anoint the feet of Jesus. What’s more is that this woman would not only anoint the feet of Jesus with this ointment but she would also wash His feet with her tears, wiping and drying them with the hairs of her head and kissing them. We must needs recognize and understand the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for within it we encounter and come face to face with the awesome and incredible truth surrounding this woman and her actions in the presence of the Lord Jesus. There in the house of religion yet in the presence of the Lord Jesus this woman would bring her burdened and weary soul before the Lord Jesus of Nazareth that she might respond with humility in His presence. Oh if there is one thing I absolutely love about this particular narrative it’s that this woman undoubtedly knew she was a sinner and knew what her reputation in the city was and yet she was willing to brave the stares, the criticism, the condemnation, the judgment, the accusation and the like—even in the house of religion—simply because the Lord Jesus was present in the house. Stop and consider how absolutely brave and courageous the actions of this woman truly was for not only was she willing to break the alabaster jar containing the precious ointment and anointing the feet of Jesus with it but she was also willing to brave the stares, the gossip, the condemnation and the judgment of those within the house—even of the host Simon himself—simply and solely because she knew that the Lord Jesus was in the house. This woman who was not only a sinner but knew she was a sinner and was known as a sinner would enter into the house of religion braving that which she might indeed face and experience that she might pour out her soul before and in the presence of the Lord Jesus. What’s more is that when you read the words which are found in this passage you will find that after this woman had anointed the feet of Jesus with the ointment that was present in the midst of the alabaster box as well as washing them with her tears, drying them with the hairs of her head and kissing them the Pharisee who was also the host of this dinner would murmur within himself concerning Jesus. Simon would indeed murmur and grumble within himself concerning this particular occasion and would even say within himself that if Jesus were indeed a prophet he would know who and what manner of woman this was that touched him. Please pay careful and close attention to the words which are present in this passage of Scripture for within it we are brought face to face with the challenging and convicting truth surrounding this Pharisee who had invited Jesus into his home. This Pharisee invited the embodiment of love, the embodiment of grace, the embodiment of mercy and the embodiment of compassion and forgiveness into his house and yet the only thing we actually read of taking place there in the midst of the house is the entering into the house by a woman of the city who was undoubtedly known and perceived as being a sinner. When Simon observed this woman’s actions at the feet of the Lord Jesus as she would wash His feet with her tears, dry them with the hairs of her head and kiss them and when Simon observed this woman anointing the feet of Jesus with the precious ointment poured out from her alabaster box he would speak within himself—not merely concerning this woman but also concerning Jesus. It is absolutely astounding to read the words found in this passage of Scripture for Simon’s condemnation and judgment was not only against and upon this woman but it was also against the Lord Jesus Himself. This is something we must needs pay close and careful attention to it for it brings us face to face with religion’s response to a sinner entering into the house and touching the Lord Jesus. What’s more is that we also find religion’s response to Jesus Himself seeming to welcome this woman’s actions and her touching Him as she would wash His feet with her tears, dry them with her hair, kiss them and anoint them with the precious ointment she brought with her. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this when we take the time to read it for it brings us face to face with the incredibly challenging and convicting truth surrounding this “religious” and “righteous” Pharisee who had invited the Lord Jesus into his house. This Pharisee invited Jesus into his house and yet he gave him not water for his feet, he gave him no kiss which was customary when greeting others during those days and the head of Jesus with oil he did not anoint. If there is one thing I absolutely love about the words which are found within this passage of Scripture it’s that eventually there would a stark contrast between this Pharisee who considered himself righteous in his own sight and this woman who was a sinner. This Pharisee undoubtedly considered himself to be righteous in his own sight and was perhaps even considered to be righteous by those who were present in the midst of the city. What’s more is that within this passage we clearly read Luke writing of this woman that she was a sinner—something which he was careful and deliberate to induce in this passage. Not only this but within this passage you will find Simon himself knowing who and what manner of woman this was and that she was a sinner for undoubtedly she had a reputation within the city. WHEN REPUTATION MEETS FORGIVENESS IN THE HOUSE OF RELIGION! Oh how absolutely wonderful and incredible this truly is when you take the time to think about it for here in the house of religion this woman who was a sinner would take center stage—not because she was perhaps seeking to steal the show or become the focal point but because the Lord Jesus would commend her for her actions. The Lord Jesus would indeed would not only praise this woman for her actions but He would also compare and contrast her actions with the inaction of the Pharisee. Eventually and ultimately this passage of Scripture would become a powerful contrast between the actions of this woman as set in stark contrast with the inaction of Simon the Pharisee who undoubtedly considered himself to be righteous and this woman to be a sinner. This is something which must needs be recognized and understood for within it we are brought face to face with Jesus speaking directly unto this woman and declaring unto her that her sins were forgiven her. Here we would find the second occurrence of the Lord Jesus speaking directly unto another and emphatically declaring unto them their sins were forgiven. It would be unto the man who was sick with the palsy Jesus would declare that his sins were forgiven and it would be unto this woman whom Jesus would declare that her sins were also forgiven unto her. Oh how absolutely wonderful it is to think about the fact that twice within three chapters we find the Lord Jesus declaring unto individuals their sins were forgiven them. As I bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the absolutely wonderful and incredible truth surrounding Jesus’ compassion toward sinners and religion’s controversy and conflict with sinners. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for there is something truly unique and captivating within this passage of Scripture and how there would be a stark contrast between the compassion of the Lord Jesus toward those who were sinners and the controversy and conflict religion had with those who were sinners. In addition to this—not only would religion have a controversy and conflict with those who were sinners but it would also have a controversy and conflict with Jesus’ response and reaction to sinners. The Lord Jesus would indeed have compassion toward those who were sinners and on two different occasions He would declare unto two different individuals that their sins were forgiven them. What’s more is that the Lord Jesus would also declare that He did not come to call the righteous but sinners unto repentance. Oh that we would recognize and pay close attention to the words which are found here in this passage of Scripture for within it we are confronted with Jesus’ compassion toward sinners—and not only His compassion toward sinners but also His willingness to forgive sins which would not merely be His own forgiveness but the forgiveness of the Father which was in heaven. Here in these passages of Scripture we find the Lord Jesus being willing to declare unto individuals their sins were forgiven unto them knowing that He wasn’t merely offering His own forgiveness but the forgiveness of the Father. It is with this being said I am compelled to not only call your attention to the truth that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The wages of sin is indeed death but the gift of God through faith in Jesus Christ is eternal life according to the writing of the apostle Paul. The question we must needs ask ourselves is whether or not we are indeed those who can and will confess our sin(s) when we are brought face to face with them and are willing to acknowledge that we are indeed sinners who are saved by grace and who have been saved by grace.

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