THIS MAN RECEIVETH SINNERS
Luke 15:1 Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. 2 And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. 3 And he spake this parable unto them, saying, 4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? 5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. 7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
As you can see our title comes from the mouth of religionists who were jealous of the Lord Jesus. They meant these words to be disrespectful. But even if the devil himself speaks something that is true, it is still the truth! 2 Corinthians 13:8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. And it is a glorious thing for the sinner to realize “Christ receiveth sinful men, even me with all my sin.”
“Make the message clear and plain:
Christ receiveth sinful men.
Come, and He will give you rest;
Trust Him for His word is plain;
He will take the sinfulest;
Christ receiveth sinful men.”
(Erdmann Neumeister 1671 – 1756)
And it should also be noticed that there were also at that time “publicans and sinners” gathered “for to hear him.” That gives us the understanding as to why he begins to speak to them in parables. Matthew 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
For one’s attitude towards the person of the Lord Jesus Christ will govern the result of the hearing of the gospel! John 3:18 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. 36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. Those who “believe not” while hearing the gospel have a powerful spiritual being to blind their minds! 2 Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world (Satan) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
In these three parables, the Lord pictures himself as the seeking shepherd, searching until he has safely returned the wandering sheep into the fold. Then he shows the determination of the Lord, not only to go out far into the wilderness, but also searching diligently within the present dwelling place for the lost coin. And finally he is shown as the loving father, watching for the wandering son’s return, restoring him to his place.
Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. 5:31 And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. 32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
The Apostle Paul told of his wicked life in order to exalt the saving mercy of the Lord Jesus. 1 Timothy 1:13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
Listen to the Lord himself speak of his lovingkindness to those burdened down with sin. Matthew 11:27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
We must look deeper into this situation, in order to see the vastness of the Lord God’s sovereign involvement with the salvation of the sinner. Therefore we see that the shepherd, once having that sheep in his fold, knew it was missing! And accounting of every last sheep was highly important to him.
In His high priestly prayer to the Father, he stated that the exact number of those given him by the Father, would be the exact number of those for whom he would redeem. And he specifically stated that there would not be the loss of one. John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
John 17:2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. 9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. 10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.
John 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. 12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
Likewise the woman knew exactly how many coins she had before, and therefore she knew exactly how many were lost. And she immediately rejoiced when she had found the one lost coin, knowing that made up the original total. Even so, the Lord Jesus knew exactly how many the Father had given him for redemption, and stated they, without the exception of a single soul, would all come to him! John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
And the father of the wandering son, was standing in the road only looking for the one lost son. And then he was no longer looking, but finally was rejoicing, knowing that his return completed the family. Luke 15:20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. 32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.
In his message on Mars Hill in Athens, the Apostle Paul stated that the reason that people are born in their place and at their time is that the Lord placed them there in order for them to better seek Him! Acts 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
And this all reflects the Trinity dealing in pre-foundation work for the salvation of every sinner chosen in Christ. Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
The Father’s choosing them in Christ was for them to be made holy and for the praise of the glory of his grace! Therefore to deny this pre-foundation choosing is to deny the Father’s glory! And the denial of God’s glory is how we got into this sinful state to begin with! Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Then the Eternal Son of God determined to have all gathered together in him, and that was again, for the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: 11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
And finally the Holy Spirit seals all of these in order to assure them of being those who would be redeemed as a “purchased possession.” And this was also done unto the praise of his glory! Therefore every true believer has a pre-foundation work by the Trinity, insuring that they be sought after, found and returned to the Lord, never to be lost again!
Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
One might ask Why did the Lord God do this? Here is an answer to that question from the scriptures. Deuteronomy 7:6 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. 7 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: 8 But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
He did not do so because he saw anything good in those whom he chose. He did it because he loved them! Election is simply a matter of love before time! And remember, this cannot be approached with just reason or logic. It must be received by faith alone.
Isaiah 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
Romans 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. 14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. 15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. 17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. 18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. 19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? 21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, 24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
Pastor Gene Breed
October 8, 2020