“Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” vs. 7
Jesus understood why the Pharisees and scribes were upset about his practice of eating with sinners and welcoming them into his presence. He knew that those who are righteous resent the good things that come to those whose lives have been marked by folly and foolishness. Some have felt like that in recent weeks when it became apparent that some people were about to have their student debt canceled. The resentment was particularly acute among those who had in fact scrimped and saved in order to pay off their debts. Their argument was simple: the policy wasn’t fair to those who had played by the rules! So no matter how much we might revel in the good news of amazing grace, if we’ve led exemplary lives, there will likely be a little bit of heartburn when we’re reminded that repentant sinners are the ones who spark joy in heaven. It’s just plain hard to take when an undeserving person gets the same benefits as everyone else. Of course, if we’re serious about being a follower of Jesus we’re going to need to get used to such inequities. That’s just the way he is! And if we’re really honest, that’s a good thing. Because there’s not a single one of us that gets what we deserve in this world. All of us are who we are purely because of the grace of God!
Thought for the Day: How do I feel about benefits for the undeserving?