When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the "sinners" and tax collectors, they asked his disciples, "Why does he eat with tax collectors and "sinners?" (Mark 2:16)
Thank you, Dear Jesus, that you eat with "sinners." It gives me hope; not just for my friends, but for myself. The Greek word for sinner used here is hamartolos which comes from the verb hamartano which means to miss the mark. It is the word for those of us who fall short, don't measure up, can't hit the target. That's me! Thank you, Dear Jesus, that you accept me. Thank you, Dear Jesus, that you accept the unacceptable. It gives me hope that I don't somehow need to make myself acceptable before you will accept me. Because I cannot.
It also makes me ask myself some hard questions, like: Do I really believe I am totally and completely accepted by you? Even though you accept me, are there still certain levels on which I feel unacceptable? Are there certain ways I even resist being accepted by you? And why in the world would I do that? Even when you accept me, though I am woefully unacceptable, do I still demand that others be acceptable before I will accept them? Are there certain people that I still refuse to allow to be accepted? Thank you, Dear Jesus, that you eat with "sinners."
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