We live in a world where death, pain and frustration are part of our life experience. We carry questions in our heads and hearts for which we suspect there are answers. But if there are answers we are afraid to own them and admit to them because of what it will cost. The alcoholic fights off any thought of admission of his alcoholism because of the shame and exposure it brings; he thinks no one will care for him and love him if they find out what he is really like. He imagines he is beyond the pale of acceptance and love. Like many people who are struggling he thinks there is no one he can trust or turn to. So he shuts himself off and he suffers his pain and hopelessness alone, bereft of any sense of love and help.
Then Jesus comes on the scene, eating and drinking with the down and outs and nobodies. He carries this outrageous hope and God filled message: I didn’t come to save the righteous, the somebodies who think they have it all figured out with God; I came to save the nobodies; those who recognize they are not good enough and fit for God. Jesus came as a Saviour for sinners. He came with a message:
“I am come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly”.
This is what the Bible calls the Gospel, the good news that Jesus came to save sinners and bring them into life, and perfect acceptance with God.