Cover 2016-11-06

Ron Writes

A Friend of Sinners

Jesus was known, loved and criticized as a “friend of sinners”. Jesus encounters sinner after sinner. It was this association with sinners that defines His ministry. He didn’t encourage sin, He doesn’t approve of sin, but He embraces sinners. Those wondrous words, “your sins are forgiven.” Not only does He forgive them, He embraces them.

Why be with sinners? For the same reason that doctors are with the sick. A doctor isn’t terrible when he’s surrounded by sickness and disease. It’s a sign of His compassion. It is as appropriate for Jesus to be with sinners as it is for a doctor to be with the sick. Until we realize how sick and sinful we are, we won’t come to the Great Physician. Disciples don’t come to Jesus because we’re good people, but because we need healing. We have done some things, seen some things, said some things, thought some things and have come to Jesus for forgiveness. Christianity is about what God has done. We don’t go to a doctor to stay sick, but to find healing. We have embraced Jesus to find a new, healthy way of life.

We must love who Jesus loves. We must embrace the sinners and outcasts. Drunks are welcome here. So are addicts, porn stars, homosexuals, thieves, gluttons, losers, freaks, and geeks. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat, Republican or Independent. Pot-heads, meat-heads, crack-heads, or those who are trying to get ahead. It might make us feel uncomfortable, but they are welcome here. We don’t condone sin, or embrace sin, but we love sinners. We welcome all with the love of God. Come for healing, cleansing, and the forgiveness of sins.

Jesus sees what we will become, rather than where we came from. Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future. Oh, how we love Jesus, because He first loved us. We have come, not with a self-satisfied imagined goodness of our own, but with humility to receive the mercy, grace, love and forgiveness of God. We are the friends of Jesus. We have been befriended by God!