Friend of the Outcast (Luke 7:34–35) - Radical

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Friend of the Outcast (Luke 7:34–35)

“The son of man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.”
– Luke 7:34–35

What a picture in Luke 7 as Jesus is canceled by the religious culture around him.

Luke 7:34–35 Shows how Jesus is Accused of Associating with Sinners

He’s accused by religious leaders, religious people of his love for sinners, for tax collectors. Yet the beauty in verse 35, he was wise and his wisdom was justified by the people who would follow him, who’d experienced life in him, including the “sinful woman” in the next story. Isn’t this what we all love about Jesus? Sinners were drawn to him and his love for them, even when that angered the religious culture around him. Don’t we want that in our lives, our families, our churches, to attract sinful people, whatever that means?

Obviously, here in Luke 7, the picture was outcasts. Those who were not accepted by other religious people, found in Jesus a friend to them. Oh, may our lives look like Jesus’ life in this way. May we be found as friends to sinners, to outcast, to people who would normally expect to be rejected by religious people. May they be welcomed at our tables, loved and cared for in our lives. Oh, I want to encourage you to think about what this looks like in your life, to be hospitable toward, to take initiative in reaching out to people who are normally rejected by religious people. What does that look like in your life, in your family, your everyday schedule? And what does that look like in your church? Is your church a welcome place for people who normally feel rejected by religious people?

Luke 7:34–35 Encourages us to Befriend the Rejected

God, we pray this would be so in our lives. We pray this would be so in our families and our churches. That we would reflect you, Jesus, in this way. Help us to be loving in this way. That there would be people being radically saved from all kinds of different backgrounds. Specifically people who would normally be expecting to be rejected by religious people.

God, we pray that they would find redemption in you through our tables, our gatherings as churches, that there would be an attraction to you, to your love, to the grace and mercy that are found in the Gospel. God, I don’t want to single out certain groups right now that are even coming to my mind that feel like tax collectors and sinners because I don’t want to exclude so many who might fall into this category, and I don’t want to exclude the reality, God, that this is us. We’re sinners. We deserve to be cast out from your presence.

We praise you for your love for us. Thank you for your taking the initiative to seek us. We thank you for your hospitality toward us, to the invitation to come to your table. Thank you for the Lord’s supper, that we get to experience as your church sitting with you. You are our friend of tax collectors and sinners like us. And so, God, we pray that you would help us to be that kind of friend to others in ways that lead others to you.

Praying for the Kheng People

God, we pray for the Kheng people of Bhutan, Tibetan Buddhists who would not expect to be loved and cared for by followers of Jesus. God, we pray that you would raise up laborers who will go to the Kheng people of Bhutan and share the Gospel with them, share the good news that Jesus is the friend of sinners and that disciples will be made among the Kheng people of Bhutan. Oh, God, we pray for this all around the world and we pray for this all around our lives and our churches that people would find themselves welcomed at our tables and drawn to you through our love for them. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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