Updated: Mar 8, 2021
Friday, February 26, 2021
“The Company Jesus Kept”
By Pastor Rob Harding
Passage: Luke 15:1-10
“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
Growing up, many of us heard these words from our parents: “You shouldn’t hang out with them because they’ll be a bad influence.” While the company we keep can affect us for good or ill, Jesus’ example here in Luke 15 gives us pause when it comes to this warning.
The Pharisees and teachers of the law admonish Jesus because they believe a similar thing: who Jesus spends time with will sully his reputation at best and soil his faith at worst. Believing that, it makes sense that they would mutter in the midst of his behavior.
What they don’t understand is what Jesus understood so clearly: relationships flow in two directions. Thus, for Jesus, the “lost” must be part of the company we keep if they are ever going to be influenced by us.
Jesus’ response to the charge that he hung out with the wrong crowd was “of course I do!” Following his lead, may we embrace diverse relationships as well. God calls us not to hang out with “Christians” only. God calls us to welcome into our lives those who are far from Him as well so that they might come to know Him as we do. Ask yourself today: are you following Jesus’ example in this matter? If not, how might you change that?
Prayer: Loving God, we confess that at times we fail to build relationships in our lives that enable us to share the Good News with those who need to hear it. Guide us that we might more faithfully follow Jesus’ lead here. Amen.