We are not called to be “bouncers” for the kingdom…

Since I missed hearing the sermon on Sunday, I was decided to watch it this morning while on the treadmill. (Thank you modern technology!)

Pastor Curtis was speaking on Luke 18:15-17, the Scripture where Jesus tells his disciples to let the children come to him. The disciples must have been acting like “bouncers” as Pastor Curtis said, and trying to stop the people from bringing their children to him. For whatever reason, the disciples made the decision that children were not the ones who should be brought to Jesus. They assumed Jesus came for someone else.

As we continue reading in Luke, we can see that the disciples were not the only ones who made assumptions about who Jesus should and should not meet. In Luke 19 today, I read about Zacchaeus. People thought he somehow fell in to the same category as “not” who Jesus came for.  They were muttering about it, questioning his “being a guest of a ‘sinner’”. Zacchaeus was basically a traitor to his own people, the Jews, and by human judgment, was the last person Jesus should be spending his time with as a “religious leader”. They felt he was entering “unclean” territory, a “bad person’s” house. They were right in their estimation of Zacchaeus being a sinner, but they failed to realize they were just as much of a sinner as Zacchaeus. They also miserably failed in their assessment of who did and did not need Jesus. In their perception, Jesus should not have been in a house of a person “like that,” but they were dead wrong.

What Pastor Curtis pointed out and what we see in this Scripture here is a red flag for us about assumptions of others. Who do we think ‘wouldn’t be interested” in Jesus or worse, like Zacchaeus, doesn’t “deserve” to have Jesus come to them? I know there are people who I have assumed are not “interested” because they already know the gospel or have made it clear they want no part of religion. Have I written them off? Do I still pray for them and ask God to give me opportunities to be a light for Him to them? Have I assumed they won’t be interested, so I didn’t share an article or song or Scripture at an opportune time with them? What holds you and I back from bringing Jesus together with certain friends and acquaintances we have? Who do you know that you wouldn’t think about sharing Jesus with?

The story of Zacchaeus and the earlier Scripture teaching where Jesus encourages the children to come to him are reminders that NO ONE is outside the circle of needing Jesus. It may be that someone would jump at the chance…or maybe even climb a tree, if we would only share ourselves, our lives and love them through Christ. Who knows? They may have the faith of Zacchaeus just waiting to be seen by you or I, hoping we will talk to them and think through the questions they have with them. What can we do? Be ready and willing. We are not bouncers who get to decide who gets in to see Jesus, but instead, we need to be ushers trying to bring every single person to Him we possibly can!

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