Yesterday I preached on the parable of the Lost Sheep from Luke 15, which begins with the notice that “all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to Jesus, and the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
The word in Greek is hamartaloi, from a root word that means, literally, “to miss the mark.” I asked the congregation to picture an archer pulling back a bow, taking aim, letting an arrow fly, and missing the bull’s eye by a good two feet. It’s not that he wasn’t trying to hit it; he was, but he missed.
I said, “Some of us are sinners like that. We are trying really hard to be good, Christian people, we are aiming our lives in that direction, but often, in spite of our best efforts, we miss the…
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