But he’s is a nice boy!
Pastor Mark Jeske

One of the most curious ironies of Jesus’ ministry is that the “nice people,” the “church people,” the “respectable people” mostly had no use for him. Jesus’ teachings resonated much more deeply with the outcasts and fringe dwellers and pariahs, the tax collectors and prostitutes. Here’s the reason: the good news of the coming of the Savior is nothing special if you don’t think you need one.

Ever heard this in your home? “Mom, Alex is such a nice boy, but he doesn’t believe in Jesus. Why can’t he go to heaven?” The fact that some people can set up a veneer of respectability does not negate the rottenness within every human heart. The Holy Spirit gave St. Paul this painful but helpful insight: "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away" (Romans 3:10-12).

The tax collectors and lowlifes at Jesus’ time knew that. They were astounded to hear of a merciful God who cared even for them.

Alex and the other Pharisees, past and present, feel that they are good enough. On the Last Day, they will have their facade peeled away and will join the rest of the sinners under God’s condemnation. In the meantime, until that dreadful day arrives, it’s not too late for them to repent and claim Jesus’ forgiveness.

Remember: Paul was once a Pharisee too.


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