When asked by the disciples of John the Baptist as to whether or not Jesus was the Messiah to come, Jesus replied:
“Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” – Luke 7:22-23
That was good news for many but not for the Pharisees and law experts. They didn’t like the rules Jesus played by because it involved hanging around the tax collectors and sinners. So, according to Jesus, they accused him of being “a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners” (Luke 7.34).
Do you ever wonder what it was that brought such an accusation against Jesus? Could it just be that Jesus was accused of being a glutton and a drunkard because he was actually eating and drinking with such sinners? I think so and I think it says a lot about how churches might go about engaging their neighbors and community in a post-christendom culture.
Below is the sermon I preached for the Columbia Church of Christ on this subject from Luke 7:18-35. This is a sermon that may have got me fired in some churches but I am thankful for the Columbia Church of Christ having an open mind that can think missionally. You can download the sermon, which is about 25 minutes long.
If you have listened to the sermon, I would love to hear your reactions and thoughts. I am not trying in the sermon to present a “how to” method or an easy “1-2-3 step” plan, rather I am trying to provoke the missional imagination in us.