Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you.”
The religious leaders did not take kindly to these words from Jesus. They seemed to be the only ones whom Jesus criticized. They were always focused on following the rules and rigidly holding all to those rules without any measure of mercy. Instead of unconditionally loving their neighbors…they were judging them by a standard that was very “black and white.” Of course…they were also self-righteous…pretending as though they did not have their own moral shortcomings. On the other hand, the tax collectors and prostitutes had been breaking the rules but were trying to change their ways after encountering the unconditional love of Jesus. It was Mercy that transformed their hearts…not chastisement. When Love invites us to turn away from things that hurt our relationship with God and begin to mirror this unconditional love to the world…we begin to enter the kingdom of God here and now. Instead of concerning myself over making someone else change…why not concern myself over how I can change in order to bring about the kingdom of God?
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Remember…God loves you!