Inviting Outsiders or Coddling Insiders?

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What’s more important – inviting outsiders or coddling insiders?

Should we be more concerned with keeping the holy ones happy or reaching riffraff for Jesus?

Should the church be an exclusive club for saints or a hospital for sinners?

Maybe Jesus (the head of the Church) has something to say about it…

Jesus saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.

Later when Jesus was eating supper at Matthew’s house with his close followers, a lot of disreputable characters came and joined them.

When the Pharisees saw him keeping this kind of company, they had a fit, and lit into Jesus’ followers. “What kind of example is this from your Teacher, acting cozy with crooks and riffraff?”

Jesus, overhearing, shot back, “Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? Go figure out what this Scripture means: ‘I’m after mercy, not religion.’ I’m here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders.” (Matthew 9.9-13 MSG)

The highlights:

  1. Jesus invited a tax collector (pretty despised dudes back then).
  2. A bunch of disreputable characters were welcomed by Him.
  3. This ticked off the Pharisees – the religious insiders.
  4. Jesus said “go figure out what this means: I’m after mercy, not religion.”
  5. Jesus said “I’m here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders.”


Don’t be a Pharisee
(uppity, self-righteous, compassionless, wanting to be coddled and catered to).
Be like Jesus
(inviting, including, welcoming, grace-giving and focused on reaching outsiders).

I am a husband, father, pastor, leader & reader. I love God, love people & love life.

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