Wednesday, August 9, 2017

August 10, 2017

"Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." Luke 15:1-2

In his book, "Surprise the World", Michael Frost tells this story which is a modern day iteration of Jesus eating with sinners and publicans.

"I remember meeting a Southern Baptist Pastor in Portland who told me his neighbor both claimed to make the best margaritas in all of Oregon and regularly hosted margarita-and-poker nights in his garage. All the men from the neighborhood attended, but the Baptist Pastor always declined under the invitations believing he was being faithful to his Christian witness.

When I (Michael Frost) heard this I asked the pastor how many times his neighbor had asked him questions about his faith? He answered, "Never."

I asked him how many times his margarita-making neighbor had asked him anything about his faith and again he replied, "Never". I responded, "Exactly! That's because a Baptist Pastor declining invitations to margarita- poker nights is not questionable. It is expected!" So, I urged him to do the questionable thing and accept the next invitation. 

When the next invitation was issued he accepted. He walked across the driveway, into the garage where he was greeted with curious gazes and some good-natured razzing. But he sat down to a Diet-Coke, played cards badly and guess what resulted from his questionable behavior? Yes! Questions!

That evening and over the following weeks and months the Pastor was presented with more opportunities to share his faith than in the previous years in the neighborhood!"

He discovered the power of living a questionable life. If He would have followed in the steps of Jesus he would have learned it much sooner!

Jesus ate with sinners! They pressed in on Him and learned from Him. Over meals they learned to love Him and they learned how much He loved them. 

At the risk of having His methods and His orthodoxy questioned by the Pharisees, His questionable behavior earned Him the ear of those He came to reach!

Are you living a questionable life?

Are you blessing at least three people every week?

Are you eating with sinners?

If not, you are not following in the footsteps of Jesus.