“This man receiveth sinners.” Luke 15:2
Suggested Further Reading: Ephesians 1:3-8
Allow us just to amplify that word: “this man receiveth sinners.” Now, by that we understand that he receives sinners to all the benefits which he has purchased for them. If there be a fountain, he receives sinners to wash them in it; if there be medicine for the soul, he receives sinners to heal their diseases; if there be a house for the sick, an hospital, a home for the dying, he receives such into that retreat of mercy. All that he has of love, all that he has of mercy, all that he has of atonement, all that he has of sanctification, all that he has of righteousness—to all these he receives the sinner. Yea, more; not content with taking him to his house, he receives him to his heart. He takes the black and filthy sinner, and having washed him—“There,” he says, “thou art my beloved; my desire is towards thee.” And to consummate the whole, at last he receives the saints to heaven. Saints, I said, but I meant those who were sinners, for none can be saints truly, but those who once were sinners, and have been washed in the blood of Christ, and made white through the sacrifice of the lamb. Observe it then, beloved, that in receiving sinners we mean the whole of salvation; and this word in my text, “Christ receiveth sinners,” grasps in the whole of the covenant. He receives them to the joys of paradise, to the bliss of the beatified, to the songs of the glorified, to an eternity of happiness for ever. “This man receiveth sinners;” and I dwell with special emphasis on this point,—he receives none else. He will have none else to be saved but those who know themselves to be sinners.
For meditation: Contrast whom Christ receives with all that they receive in him in return (Luke 15:20-24). Are you one of them?
Sermon no. 219
14 September (1856)