"So he told them this parable..." When you attend your next corporate event, church potluck or family holiday celebration will you be excited? Will you be looking forward to talking to everyone? Or will you grumble a little (or a lot) about spending time with people you don't really care for? Will you avoid the people who make you uncomfortable? Will you only talk to the people who are like you, who think as you think and do as you do?
Imagine hearing about a man whose stories and teachings were so compelling that people from all walks of life traveled to be with him. This man's message was about the kingdom of God. He didn't care if you had leprosy, were sick, blind, rich or poor. Heck, he even talked to women, and he had the power to heal. His magnetic, healing presence was real and powerful. Just like God.
Luke 15:1-3 (NRSV)
1 Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him.
2 And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, "This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them."
3 So he told them this parable: