Despicable People

Despicable People

15 January 2009


1 Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. 2 This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such despicable people—even eating with them! (Luke 15:1-2 NLT)


Notorious sinners and “despicable people” were attracted to Jesus and his teachings. Jesus even interacted socially with people who were completely outside the comfort zone of the Pharisees and religious leaders.

The Pharisees considered these notorious sinners despicable. That’s a pretty strong word! Jesus used three illustrations to make it very clear that he didn’t share their opinion of sinners – even notorious sinners.

• Jesus compared them to a lost sheep and said they were worth going after.
• Jesus compared them to a lost coin and said they were worth searching for.
• Jesus compared them to a lost son and said they were worth waiting for and rejoicing over.


Here’s what this makes me think about:
• Is there anything about me that attracts notorious sinners to be with me and listen to what I have to say?
• Do I judge people for their “sinfulness” or love them for their soul’s value?
• Do I expect people in need to come to me or do I allow the Holy Spirit to prompt me to go to them?


Father, please help me to think, speak, and act in ways that will make outsiders feel I have something of value for them. Help me not to categorize people as despicable or acceptable but as precious sheep, valuable coins, or beloved brothers and sisters. I believe Jesus is still a friend of sinners. Amen.

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