Jesus Loved the Unlovable
(Matthew 9:9-12; Luke 5:27-32)
Big Idea: Jesus teaches us to reach beyond our comfort circle.
- ILLUS: Man with RV leaves wife at con. Store. Bikers take her back. Man flees in fear.
- We live in a diverse world. Some people are different, some very different from the rest of us.
- These differences may breed contempt but often fear.
- Jesus was able to look beyond those differences. He teaches us to look beyond them too.
- Text deals with only one – Levi/Matthew. But the Bible is full of other examples as we will see including Zaccheus and the woman with an alabaster vial of perfume
1. Jesus went beyond religious arrogance.
a. Notice the critics:
iii. The critics were the people who had the most to lose from Jesus’ successes.
b. The critics of Jesus considered themselves wiser, more knowledgeable, better trained and more holy than the common man. They “knew stuff” that others did not.
2. Jesus went beyond hurtful generalizations.
a. 10 verses in the gospels link tax collectors with sinners (publican xlate t.c. in kjv), yet there is nothing to suggest that Matthew was actually a great sinner nor Zaccheus. (Luke 19.1-10).
b. People generally thought that tax collectors were sinners but that was a broad generalization.
c. Truth is, they were sinners just like everybody else.
3. Jesus went to the heart
a. Notice that both Levi/Matthew and Zaccheus responded to Jesus positively.
i. Matthew prepared a large banquet (Luke 5.29)
ii. Zaccheus sought out Jesus “joyfully” (Luke 19.4, 6)
b. In Luke 7:36-50 (alabaster vial) this woman sought him out in the presence of her oppressors, at great expense, with extreme humility and with many tears.
c. By contrast, the detractors these were hard-hearted (Acts 7.51, stiff-necked and uncircumcised).
d. Of their ancestors Moses wrote that if they would humble their uncircumcised hearts he would save them (Lev. 26.41)
e. Jeremiah also spoke of their forefathers when God asked through him “To whom shall I speak and give warning that they may hear? Behold their ears are closed…” (Jer. 6.10)
f. Jesus sought hearts that were broken so he could fix them! No man takes his car to the shop unless he thinks something needs to be done!
1. Jesus came to find people with broken hearts (Mark 2:17; c.f Matthew 9:12, 13; Luke 5:31, 32; Luke 19:10), and Jesus came to find sinners (Luke 7:47-50).
2. But in order to find broken hearted sinners he had to go to where they were. He had to go to the home of a broken heart – to the house of a sinner.
a. These were not found in the temple…
b. There were not found in the synagogues…
c. These were not found among the righteous…
d. These were found in the possession of the devil!
3. Bring it together:
a. Jesus demonstrated for us the essential need to reach outside of our own comfort zones.
b. He taught us that the people who need us the most may not look like us, talk like us or act like us.
c. Yet there is a great common link among us all – the need for Jesus Christ
d. Two Questions:
i. Will you reach beyond your zone of comfort to save someone else?
ii. Will you bring your own broken heart to Jesus this morning?