Friend of Sinners

Monday, May 22, 2017

Maybe before we can love like Jesus, we need to learn what it means to be with him. – Scott Sauls (Senior pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee)

Key Bible Verse: “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.” (Matthew 11:19, NIV)

Dig Deeper: 

In his living, his teaching, and his loving, Jesus was attractive to the non-religious and moral outcasts of his day. Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to him. But the Pharisees and scribes—the religious leaders, the faithful churchgoers, the ones who gave their tithes and studied their Bibles and built their identity on being right—were suspicious of Jesus.

Jesus became a scandal among the religious and the upright not because of actual guilt, but because of guilt by association. When sinners invited him to their parties, he went. When people of ill repute came near, he invited them into friendship.

My friend and former professor Phil Douglas is known for saying that a love for lost people covers over a multitude of sins. God, who so loved the world, gave his Son in order to seek and save every type of person—conservative and liberal, affluent and bankrupt, happy and depressed, healthy and addicted, secular and religious—to join the sacred communion of Father, Son, and Spirit. Not as servants in his kingdom but as heirs to his kingdom.

Copyright © 2017 by Christianity Today/Men of Integrity magazine and Promise Keepers Canada. All rights reserved.