Consider the nature of the people in the crowds around Jesus as He shared the parables in Luke 15.
- Publicans: social outcasts of their day, notoriously dishonest, gathered more taxes than Rome required
- Sinners: those who everyone knew had “missed the mark” regarding righteousness
- Pharisees: zealots who were outwardly religious, strived to impress others, condemned others, avoided even touching sinners
- Scribes: spent time copying scriptures, others accepted them as experts, their attitudes were similar to those of the Pharisees
The Publicans and sinners came to listen to Jesus. The Pharisees and scribes came to find fault with Jesus. When you hear God’s Word or read it, do you seek to listen to Jesus or do you look for fault with God’s Word? Are you critical toward others? Do you judge before you know the whole story? As a leader, are you willing to give those who have failed a second chance? God wants us to be both wise and compassionate. True leaders achieve a balance.