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Devotions

JUNE 20, 2021 GOSPEL OF 0 The Parables of the Lost Sheep & Lost Coin “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” This is the Gospel: Christ came to receive sinners – to bring them back to Paradise lost through sin – and to eat with them, to feast at the unending Supper in which He Himself is Host and Guest. Jesus uses these similar parables to illustrate God’s willingness to find the wayward sinner. God does not abandon us to our foolishness but seeks us out, calling us to repentance and to faith. What sort are eating with Him? Namely sinners who have no claim of righteousness of their own; while they who think they are righteous in themselves are unwelcome. See, Jesus is a man who leaves ninety-nine sheep in the wilderness, where nothing grows (indicating judgment on the proud and self-righteous). He seeks instead the one lost sheep until He finds it. This shows His desire for the repentance of one sinner. This sheep He lays on His shoulders; He carries the one who cannot walk around His neck in comforted trust. Such is the mission not only of Christ, but of His church. The woman with the lost coin, (a single denarius – a day’s wages) lights a lamp grabs a broom and searches until she finds it then celebrates with her neighbors. The unrepentant sinner is like a coin lost in the darkness. Once lost, we have no more ability to find the Lord than the coin has to finds its owner. Yet, the Good News of Christ gives “light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.” () Hope abides in Christ and His promises.

JUNE 13, 2021 GOSPEL OF 4 The Parable of the Great Banquet Once again, we hear Jesus use a feast in a parable. This time, He is the Sabbath dinner guest at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees. They are watching Jesus carefully as He has already challenged them with the healing of the man with dropsy. (14:1-6) He continues with 2 parables where He uses feasts as the setting. In the Parable of the Great Banquet, one of those reclining at the table boasts, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God.” But, not so fast! Jesus tells the parable of a man who planned a great banquet and invited all the right people (Jews). These guests all accepted the initial invitation. However, when the banquet was ready and the servants went to issue the final summons, other interests took priority and all declined. Their excuses weren’t very good: does one buy a field without first seeing it or purchase oxen without first trying them out? Had the groom forgotten his wedding date when he accepted the invitation? Without explicitly mentioning them, Jesus warned the Jews that refusal to accept God’s invitation would result in their rejection (v. 20, 24)and inclusion of the Gentiles only (v. 23). God’s grace will fulfill His plan to seek and save the lost and those who would reject Him will be banned from the Great Banquet. Only those who are beggars before God accept the invitation of His Grace!

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Version 2 of the ESV API has been discontinued.

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Thank you for your patience.