This weekend we began a new series of messages to take a fresh look at the conversations Jesus had with a diverse group of people who were either not following him at the time or were ready to quit. These conversations with people like Matthew, the hated tax collector and the Samaritan woman at the well give us a clear look at the love and attention God still has for the outsiders.
These stories are also compelling because the questions and comments from these people are the same ones being asked today. These stories are not meant to be learned formulas that help us persuade people to follow Jesus. Evangelistic arguments are tired attempts at introducing a beautiful story with determined facts. These discourses show everyone around us that the story of the Gospel is still being told and everyone, including people we may have written off, have a part in this spiritual narrative.
So, for the next several weeks, we are going to listen with fresh ears at the conversation Jesus had with the demoniac who lived in a graveyard, and to the dialogue he had with a thief on the cross next to him. We will also lean into the conversation Jesus had with two discouraged believers on the road to Emmaus, plus learn from the story of the woman who was thrown at the feet of Jesus after being caught in adultery.
I know all these stories, but I have not heard ALL of these stories. The Scriptures are continuously articulate and new revelation and insight can happen anytime we listen with spiritual ears. Join me on the journey and pray for those who are searching for the hope and truth we all know can be found if only they could have a conversation with Jesus.