Jesus has an amazing way of helping us see ourselves truthfully. With three simply stories, our secret lives are exposed in order to get a glorious glimpse of God’s mercy. Though Jesus has plenty of reasons to denounce certain characters in these stories, He does not. He came not to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. You can experience God’s merciful goodness where ever you find ourself right now.
Here’s a brief overview of three Jesus stories helping us understand God’s love and mercy in repentance and humility.
Zacchaeus (Luke 19.1-10)
Jesus honors our desire for Him that transforms.
A little, dignified man did whatever it took to see Jesus, even climbing a tree. As a result, Jesus entered his home where his life was forever changed. A desire for God, no matter your circumstances, will attract His attention. You draw near to Him, He will draw near to you. You may be a scoundrel and cheater who, like Zacchaeus, have done bad things to people (who hasn’t?). But, God will meet you where you are when you desire Him. If you know you’re a screw-up, that’s the time to pursue Jesus not run away from Him. Learn from Zacchaeus. Seek after Jesus. Allow Him to fully enter your life. Experience His ability to transform you.
Publican and the Pharisee (Luke 18.9-14)
Jesus shows us humility that justifies.
On one side of the prayer room stands the Pharisee who, in exceeding the requirements of his religion, sees himself as right with God and pleasing to himself. He proudly performs his religious duties making him look good in front of others which is a vital concern for him. On the other side of the room stands the no-good, stinkin’ Publican, despised by his peers and loathed by most. However, this lousy tax-collector knew his rottenness. The virtuous pietist prays only to himself claiming to be better than others and receives nothing. The rotten scoundrel continually cries out for God’s mercy. His humility, not his moral or doctrinal position, sends him home justified (v. 14). How do you become humble? Be with Jesus Christ – Matthew 11.29