Leftovers are a regular fare at our house. Both of us enjoy them. There are several reasons I like leftovers. First off, they taste just as good (if not better) the second time around after all of the seasonings and juices have had a chance to really permeate the food. Second, leftovers do save money. I can’t image just throwing the food away. Third, and most importantly, leftovers allow Shirley to put a good meal on the table without near as much work as preparing something for the first time. If you recall, Jesus had the disciples pick up the leftovers after He fed the five thousand (John 6:12-13) saying “Gather up the leftover fragments so that nothing will be lost.”
The spiritual application? The world doesn’t care for leftovers, but God loves them. After Jesus called Levi the tax collector to follow Him, Levi made a great feast for Jesus, and many were assembled in the house. However, the scribes and Pharisees complained because so many “tax collectors and sinners” were present. They did not want to associate with these outcast and “low lifes,” these “leftovers” of society. They did not want to become contaminated (become unclean) by being at the same table with them.
But listen to Jesus’ words: “It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” Jesus wanted the leftovers. These sinners had been rejected as hopeless and of no value. Among the self-righteous, there was no love for them. They were willing just to let them continue in their sinful practices and disobedience.
But Jesus wanted these rejects of the world. Those shunned by self-righteous churches and “pious” Christians are those whom the Lord cherishes. Jesus loves every person and died for all, but those who have been rejected by their own human family seem to have a special place in His heart. After all, He Himself was rejected by His own people and abandoned by His disciples. The world hated Him. It still does. The Lord loves leftovers. Do you?