A People of Grace and Truth

One of the most noteworthy things about Jesus’ life and ministry is to note that the people who were the least like Jesus were the same people who the most attracted to him. Jesus was the perfect image of a holy and righteous God, a man who went his whole life experiencing the same temptations that we all experience, and yet he resisted every one and never sinned. You might expect people who were great sinners to be uncomfortable around Jesus, and maybe even be repelled by him. But the opposite was the case. People who were under the power of shameful sin loved to spend time with Jesus. Why?

The answer certainly isn’t because Jesus downplayed or neglected talking about the moral commands of God. When Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), not only did he teach about God’s moral commands, Jesus intensified them. He would say things like, “In the Mosaic law, you are told not to murder. But I say that if you harbor resentment and anger toward another, you’ve already committed murder in your heart.” Yet, that high moral and spiritual calling that Jesus gave continually didn’t seem to prevent people from flocking to him.

The reason is because Jesus also reached out passionately to those who fell the most short of that high moral and spiritual calling. Jesus communicated over and over again that he loved and accepted the worst of sinners. And as those sinners followed Jesus and spent time with Jesus, they were transformed from sinners into saints.

What does this tell us as the church? It tells us that our calling is to follow the same pattern. On one hand, we proclaim the high call of holiness to our community and our world. And on the other hand, we offer never-ending grace and acceptance and welcome to each and every person we encounter. Doing both faithfully can often times be messy, but it is worth it, because that balance of grace and truth will transform the world.

In Christ,


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