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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

God Loves Sinners and Losers, so What’s the Problem?

“First of all, I must keep in mind the context in which Jesus tells the story of the ‘man who had two sons.” Luke writes: 'Tax collectors and sinners … were all gathering around to listen to him, and the Pharisees and the scribes were complaining saying: This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.' In response, Jesus tells his critics the parables of 'the lost sheep', 'the lost coin' and 'the prodigal son'.

"Jesus wants to make it clear the God of whom he speaks is a God of compassion who joyously welcomes repentant sinners into his house. To associate and eat with people of ill repute, therefore, does not contradict his teaching about God, but does in fact, live out this teaching in every day life. If God forgives the sinners, then certainly those who have faith in God should do the same. If God welcomes sinners home, then certainly those who trust in God should do likewise. If God is compassionate, then certainly those who love God should be compassionate as well. The God whom Jesus announces and in whose name he acts is the God of compassion, the God who offers himself as example and model for all human behavior.” (The Return of the Prodigal Son, Henri Nouwen, Image Books, Doubleday, New York, 1994, pg.124.)


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