Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Collection of Disreputable Guests by James Ryle

“Jesus and His disciples were at home having supper with a collection of disreputable guests. Unlikely as it seems, more than a few of them had become followers.” 
(Mark 2:15, The Message)

The generosity of Jesus towards those who were outside the establishment was one of the major rubs against the religious institutions of His day. It is the same in our day as well. Pharisees throughout the ages protest the loudest, and act the most vengeful, when others gain access to God without having “paid their dues” in accordance with what others deem to be appropriate.

But Jesus did not establish any such protocol or pedigree as this. His word of invitation is always, “If any man thirsts, let him come unto Me and drink.” He also said, “all ye who labor and are heavy burdened, come unto Me and find rest.”

And come they do — by the millions. As unlikely as it seems.
And once we come to Him, He fills us with His spirit and gives us a love for one another that compells us to deny ourselves for the sake of others. So there is no place in His kingdom for that selfish spirit that acts only out of independence, nor that religious spirit that acts always out of a need to be in control.
pass the potatoes 
The marvel, the mystery, and the majesty of Christ’s Kingdom is precisely this – that He brings graceful order to a collection of disreputable guests, once they become His followers…unlikely as it seems. 

Perhaps you are hearing the invitation even now. Maybe you have come upon this page by taking the wrong exit on the information highway, and you feel that following Jesus for you as a very unlikely thing. Many others have felt the same. But something inside urged them to trust Jesus, and now its your turn.

If you trust Him with all your heart and become His follower, as unlikely as it may seem to you — you’ll eat many a fine meal with Him, even though a few of the more religious of folk may  protest your presence at the table.

Just smile real big and say, “Pass the potatoes, please.”

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