Sun, 6 April 2014
Big Idea: Jesus loves the lowly, broken, and sinful.
I’d like to take a short quiz here today. Don’t worry, there are no wrong answers. I’d just like to poll this group to see who had childhoods like mine. For example, by a show of hands, how many of us here have actually cried over spilled milk? How many hid your vegetables or gave them to the dog rather than cleaning your plate? How many remember blaming a brother or sister for things you did - and getting away with it? How many recall reading in bed with a flashlight? How many put Jell-O in the fishbowl just to see what would happen? How many put fish in the Jell-O bowl? Okay, maybe that last one was just me.
I’m pretty sure we all misbehaved as children. And some of us just never got out of the habit. But do you remember what it was like when you had done something wrong, and you had to face your mother or father, or teacher or pastor? Do you remember how that felt? How you expected judgment; how you knew you deserved to be punished; how anticipating someone’s disapproval was as bad or worse than anything they could do to you? It’s natural to feel that way. It’s a very human response—a guilt reflex. However, very often it becomes more than that. Our guilt festers and grows, and sometimes leads to shame, where we not only know we’ve done a bad thing, we end up thinking that is all we will ever be, a screw up! And sometimes we make adjustments to that feeling or that suspicion. We learn to accept it. We live with it. And it drags us down. It poisons our minds. It shrivels our souls.
Last week in our study we saw Jesus revealed as "the Son of Man," a messianic title that also refers to the fact that He identifies with us in our humanity. He gets it. He is as approachable as He is authoritative and amazing. And this week, we see another facet, another answer, and that is this- He is: The Sinner's Friend.