I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.
Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them! Luke 15:1-2 NLT
Companion means someone you eat bread with. “Com” is Latin for “with” and “pan” is
Holiness is in the sanctuary message but the goal is intimacy.Latin for “bread.” So when Jesus was publicly eating with sinners He was publicly declaring them His companions and friends! This infuriated the pharisees, who prided themselves from staying away from sinners. Problem is, their pride also kept them away from Jesus! Jesus knew the only way sinners could ever become holy is if they hung out with Him all the time. Now, what if I told you, that if you are friends with Jesus so that you can be holy that you are missing the whole point? What if I told you Jesus does not want perfection as much as He wants intimacy? Jesus does not befriend sinners so He can make them Holy. He makes them Holy so the friendship can become more intimate.
“Have the people of Israel build me a holy sanctuary so I can live among them.” Exodus 25:8
God doesn’t live among us so He can make us perfect. He perfects our love to make our relationship more intimate. Another key Adventist belief is the second coming, but with the same goal.
I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. John 14:3
God wants intimacy with us, and that is why He wants us to be Holy.
For I, the Lord, am the one who brought you up from the land of Egypt, that I might be your God. Therefore, you must be holy because I am holy. Leviticus 11:45 NLT
What does it mean to be holy? Does it mean living in the attic of a monastery at the top of a mountain? Does it mean only having baptized SDA members as contacts in my Google contacts? Does it mean eating Worthington Veggie Links instead of Hebrew National hot dogs? Does it mean I only listen to the Heritage Singers and never set my radio dial to a secular station?
The English word “holy” dates back to at least the 11th century with the Old English word hālig, an adjective derived from hāl meaning “whole” and used to mean “uninjured, sound, healthy, entire, complete”. –Wikipedia
If you Google “What does holy mean” you will find answers like “dedicated” and “set apart.” God is not looking for outward perfection. He is looking for inner intimacy. He totally dedicated to us. He is “wholey” dedicated to an intimate relationship with you, and wants you to be “wholey” dedicated to intimacy with Him. This goes back to why Jesus was eating with Sinners. He wanted to be their friends. By being friends with us His removes our unbelief and we trust and obey Him, not to be self righteous but to become even more intimate with Him!
When I was younger I wished I could be righteous like Enoch so I could walk close to God. Then I realized Enoch did not walk close to God because he was righteous. He sensed his weakness and this made him stick close to God. Just like the tax collectors and notorious sinners knew how weak they were, when they ate with Jesus and made themselves companions and friends with Jesus. Jesus wants to make you holy His just like He is Holy yours. He wants to be your friend and companion.
“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” Revelation 3:20 NLT
You may study this week’s SS lesson here.