By this time a lot of men and women of doubtful reputation were hanging around Jesus, listening intently. The Pharisees and religion scholars were not pleased, not at all pleased. They growled, “He takes in sinners and eats meals with them, treating them like old friends.” Their grumbling triggered this story: “Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it?" (Luke 15:1-4 MSG)
Whose group would we be standing in if Jesus walked into our church this Sunday? The "Jesus Group" or the "Pharisee Group"? Would we even recognize Him? From what I've seen in some of the many churches that I've been to, I can imagine that Jesus might be totally ignored. Even worse, in some churches He might even be asked to leave because of who He would have with Him - sinners and people of "doubtful reputation".
Our Kingdom isn't an exclusive country club. It is a hospital for the sick, a place for the lost to be found, for hope to be restored, for life to spring forth out of death and for love to cover all. If we live in an insulated society, what good is that? It isn't Christianity. Jesus taught us differently. Grace goes out and finds the lost sheep no matter what he looks like and brings him back. Grace is always willing; judgment is not.
the watchman's call