I. THE CROWDS AROUND JESUS.
A. Publicans (Tax collectors).
1. Social outcasts of that day.
2. Notoriously dishonest.
a. Rome would establish a certain levy for an area.
b. They were responsible to give to Rome that amount, but anything over that, they could keep.
c. They had the power of Rome behind them.
d. They were considered traitors, quislings.
e. Most hated persons in the community.
1. The root word means to miss the mark.
a. The Bible says all men in this category "For all have sinned."
b. Not every man sees himself in this category.
1. They see themselves as they seek to be.
2. "I try to be honest, fair, live by the golden rule."
3. The Bible says they deceive themselves.
2. What is the mark? perfection!
a. You say, "Nobody is perfect."
b. That's what I told you the Bible said.
c. Come join the crowd gathered to Jesus.
1. Religious zealots.
2. The outwardly religious.
a. They spent their time debating the law and seeking to observe outward observances.
b. They were exacting in their actions but their attitudes stunk. Hypocrites, all an act.
c. They lived to impress each other, they sought the approval of man more than God.
3. They were very self-righteous and manifested the common characteristic by condemning others.
1. These were the men who spent their time copying scriptures.
a. They were considered the experts. They knew the original language.
b. They considered themselves only ones capable of interpreting the scriptures.
2. What was said of Pharisee also true of scribe.
a. At this moment both condemning Jesus.
b. Condemnation? "He receives sinners."
II. NOTICE THE MOTIVES OF THE TWO GROUPS.
A. Publicans and sinners came to hear.
B. Pharisees and scribes came to condemn.
C. Some of you here today to hear some & find fault.
III. THE ACCUSATION "THIS MAN RECEIVES SINNERS AND EATS...
A. Their religious bigotry would not allow them to do this.
1. They held their robes tight to their sides as they walked through the streets, so not to touch.
2. To eat with a person was to become one.
B. What they saw as evil I see as good.
1. Because I am a sinner.
a. It gives me comfort.
1. He will receive me.
2. I can have communion with Him.
b. I have hope.
1. God will receive me.
2. I do not have to be damned.
3. If He didn't receive sinners; man without hope.
C. How can He receive sinners when He is holy & pure?
1. By cleansing them of their sins. "The blood..."
2. He receives the sinner in order to make him righteous.
D. This accusation by the enemies of Jesus should give hope to you today.
1. Because I know I am a sinner I often feel unworthy to come to Him.
2. To the sinners He said, "Come unto Me..."
IV. TWO CROWDS AROUND JESUS TODAY.
A. Some He receives.
B. Others find fault.
He went to the dogs.
He feeds the hogs.
He homeward jogs.
Gets a deal.
Receives the seal.
Eats the meal.
I. WHAT HE LOST "PERISHING WITH HUNGER."
A. Appreciation for main things in life. Home, etc. meant very little.
B. Lost home, father, all good things.
C. Lost self control (Riotous living.
D. Lost his money.
E. Lost his friends.
F. Lost all but life and that was going (perishing with hunger).
II. WHAT HE HAD LEFT.
A. Willingness to work in lowest place.
B. Willingness to face facts.
1. Dying of hunger.
2. Better off a servant at home.
3. Change all or die trying.
C. Willingness to get up and away to return to father and repent.
III. FIVE REVELATIONS.
A. All his notions about getting away from home having big time false.
B. That he could rise up and get away from the evil life if he would.
C. That his father would be looking for him.
D. Father should love and forgive so much.
E. There would be so much rejoicing upon his return.