Let us go to the Prodigal son. This is the classic parable about the mercy of God. Two sons of a father who loves them both. One is dutiful, the other is the opposite. Both are invited to a banquet. We have seen recently that the banquet in the parables is an image of Heaven. In the long run, the younger son reaches the banquet (heaven) because of the father’s forgiveness and restoration. The older son misses out on the banquet (heaven) because he refuses the invitation which demands he forgives his brother. The point is this. Jesus eats with sinners and welcomes them because those “who have no need of repentance” choose not to banquet with him.
This is very serious for our eternal salvation. We are not judged on good behaviour alone. We are invited to the banquet because of the mercy of God. God’s mercy demands that we love one another. Forgiveness is the price of admission!!!