The Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” (Luke 15:2)
Who is “this Man” who welcomes sinners and eats with them? He is, of course, none other than God incarnate, fully divine and fully man—the Word who was with God and who was God and who became flesh (John 1:1, 14). He is Jesus, who left the throne room of heaven, took on the flesh of man in the form of a servant, and willingly went to a rough wooden cross to pay the penalty of sin. This Man is Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who suffered the tortures of the damned so that you and I might know the eternal bliss of angels.
In the words of Charles Spurgeon, “It needs an angel’s tongue to describe such a mighty stoop of love.” Yet this “stoop of love” was done for people like you and me, sinners who are desperately in need of a Savior. How tragic that the Pharisees and the teachers of the law grumbled about this ineffable stoop of love, which they themselves needed so badly! But, blinded by their own self-righteousness, they could not see themselves as they truly were: sinners, separated from God—“dead men walking,” if you will—in need of This Man, the heaven-sent Savior.
Even the very best of men are only men at best, but not this Man. This Man is a man like no other. This Man is the supreme man, the God-man, before whom one day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord of all. This Man is the greatest man in every way, and He is the supreme revelation of God.
This Man is greater than the first man. Adam was promised life if he obeyed . . . but disobeyed. This Man was promised death if He obeyed . . . and He obeyed completely and died on a cross for those He welcomed and ate with—sinners like you and me!
This Man is greater than the man Moses. Moses delivered the people of God out of bondage and into their earthly and temporal Promised Land. But this Man delivers the people of God out of bondage into their heavenly and eternal Promised Land. To be sure, all of the Old Testament prophets were great men, but this Man was greater in rank, power, and authority. The prophets were used by God to speak the Word of God; this Man was, is, and forever shall be the very Word of God who has always existed.
This Man is greater than even the high priest of Israel, who offered sacrifices for the sins of God’s people. These sacrifices were mere shadows of the Substance that was to come. And in the fullness of time, this Man came and offered Himself and as the supreme sacrifice, offered once for all, for the sins of God’s people.
As incredible as this all is, there is even more. When this Man welcomes sinners, He welcomes them with a promise that one day they will be sinners no more. Reader, if you have trusted in His atoning work on your behalf, that promise includes you!
That’s right; this Man, who began a good and perfect work in you, will one day complete what He has started. This Man, who has brought you out of the grave, will one day soon bring you into glory. This Man loved you just as you were—a vile, depraved, corrupted sinner, an enemy of God. But Jesus Christ loved you so much that He would not leave you in that condition. When you breathe your last and are received into glory, you will be the exact image and likeness of This Man.
So . . . have you received this Man as your Savior and Lord? If not, He is still welcoming sinners today. Make these glorious promises yours this day!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!