Evening, September 13, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“This man receives sinners.” — Luke 15:2
Observe the disdain and condescension expressed here. This Man, who towers above all other men, holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners–this Man receives sinners. This Man, who is no other than the eternal God, before whom angels veil their faces–this Man receives sinners. It needs an angel’s tongue to describe his mighty act of lowering down to love us. That any of us should be willing to seek after the lost is nothing wonderful–they are of our own race; but that he, the offended God, against whom the transgression has been committed, should take upon himself the form of a servant, and bear the sin of many, and should then be willing to receive the vilest of the vile, this is marvelous.
“This Man receives sinners;” not, however, that they may remain sinners, but he receives them that he may pardon their sins, justify their person, cleanse their hearts by his purifying word, preserve their souls by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and enable them to serve him, to proclaim his virtues, and to have communion with him. Into his heart’s love he receives sinners, takes them from the dunghill, and wears them as jewels in his crown; plucks them as brands from the burning, and preserves them as costly monuments of his mercy. None are so precious in Jesus’ sight as the sinners for whom he died. When Jesus receives sinners, he doesn’t have some outdoor reception place, no casual porch where he charitably entertains them as men do passing beggars, but he opens the golden gates of his royal heart, and receives the sinner right into himself–yes, he admits the humble, remorseful sinner into personal union and makes him a member of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. There was never such a reception as this! This fact is still most sure this evening, he is still receiving sinners: would to God that sinners would receive him.