So from that time on his team mates called him Slippers rather than his given name.
Reference: v.1 Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around to hear him. (NIV Bible)
Explore: I was chatting to a mate the other day when he mentioned that his nickname was ‘Slippers’. I had never heard anyone call him this before and so I inquired about the strange name. He explained that he was participating in a basketball competition one year and each evening, after each game, he would walk around in his slippers. All his team mates noticed his funky footwear and thought it was rather humorous. So from that time on his team mates called him Slippers rather than his given name. This nickname stuck so well that there were basketballers on other teams who only ever knew him as Slippers and never knew his actual name.
Application: It’s amazing how some names just seem to stick. My mate obtained a whole new name just by people commenting on his post-game footwear. Luckily for Slippers it wasn’t a really terrible name to be called. However, there are some people who go through life being called all sorts of names. Even in this passage in Luke we read of Jesus addressing a whole group of people who were given the nickname ‘sinners’. This was such a terrible and demeaning name that I could never imagine calling someone else that. However it was such a common name for this group of people that even the religious leaders at the time addressed them as such. And yet Jesus does not call people by horrible names. It’s interesting that the 3 stories that Jesus tells this group of people are all about someone rejoicing after they have found something special. No matter what other people are calling them, Jesus tells them that God will rejoice when they are ‘found’. God has a desire to call each of us ‘Found’. That’s the kind of nickname that I would like to have.
Prayer: Lord, thank you that you search for us. May we be open to being found by You. Amen.
When did you feel that God has found you?
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.