A Study of Luke 15:2
“This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.”
There are two kinds of religion in the world. One is where a person has a real knowledge of himself as a sinner. The other includes many branches, and almost all who hold it acknowledge man is sinful by nature, being taught it from children; yet they do not feel sin has seperated them from God, but think they can approach Him by some good work.
To be sensibly a sinner makes son a burden. You feel the coldness it brings upon you, the disinclination to approach God, and it distresses you. It brings discomfort. So, naturally, if something cold is applied you feel the discomfort; and if it were continued, you could not live. You feel warmth to be applied to remove the discomfort. Those who feel the cold that sin produces need to come to the fire for warmth. They are ready to give up prayer and reading and cannot. If you are hungry, you must eat; the hunger is so uncomfortable. If you are cold, you require warmth for comfort. You feel, “Lord, I am cold; let some of thy rays fall on me from Thy habitation. I am helpless, I feel I cannot pray; give me a prayer. I feel my failings, and am sorry for them.”
That makes a coming sinner, and God says, “Come unto Me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden; and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). For these Jesus Christ came into this world; He receives them.
“His name ahall be called Jesus; for He shall save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:23)
For this purpose he left the skies, and took upon Him the form of a servant, that He might come to them, and they to Him. They must do so; they are seperate from all others, there is a barrier between. Others work for themselves, to make themselves acceptable to God. The sensible sinner wants Jesus Christ to work for him. He cries, “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” It altars the whole character, faith, conversation, pursuits – to be a sensible sinner.
When God withdraws the power of His grace from His people at times, to show them what they are, they have a discovery of themselves that none have but such as have grace in their hearts. None but these cry, “Lord, don’t leave me to that!” and loathe and abhor themselves. There is such a callousness about sin that when it works it hardens more and more, and the soul dreads to be left to it. “Lord, sooner let me feel the smart than be callous and insensible of sin. Lord, I am a beast.” No good thought can come out of our hearts unless the Lord puts it there; not a thought in prayer nor in confession, unless He gives it. It is of no use to tell a child of God to repent and be sorry for his sins. That is what he is doing every day; but that does not take them away. It is of no use to tell him he must be humbled before God. That is what he is every day; but his humility will not cleanse his conscience.
There is only one thing that will do it. There is a fountain opened for sin and uncleanness. “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1st John 1:7)
That alone, nothing else, will take sins away. That is the object set before the sinner. That blood was shed for the remission of sins; for nothing else. The soul is fixed upon it. “O, that I might be drawn into that new and living way, and, find access to God through the death of Jesus Christ!”
Theae sinners Jesus Christ has to do with. He has not to do with all sinners; that is certain. You may feel such things that you think He can have nothing to do with you. But this is true:
“All the fitness He requireth,
Is to feel your need of Him.”
The sun might have shone upon this world in all its splendour; but what of that, if there had been none to need it? The grace of Jesus Christ is for every sinner that feels a need; that is dark; and needs light; that is cold; and needs warmth; polluted, and needs the fountain opened for sin and uncleanness. “This man receiveth sinners.” None have this discovery of themselves in this life without grace; we will let alone what all have will have in the next. I could tell a natural man what he is, but he would not believe it – he is dead. The word “Pharisee” is taken from the same as “sanctified;” it means “set apart” from all that is evil, from evil company, as the Pharisees thought they were. And the Pharisees said, “This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.” (Luke 15:2)
He will ever receive sinners; only for them He came. He never sent away a sinner, but eateth with every one. To eat with another is a pledge of lasting friendship. If He eats with you once, it is a pledge He will again. If He does so today, He will tomorrow. It is a pledge He will never break friendship with you, that He will never forsake you.
Have you found His words and eaten them once any time?
He will be with you to the end; He will always receive you. There is this word for you to go upon: “Seek, and ye shall find.” If you go every day, He will receive you every day. His friendship is everlasting.