Jesus, Friend of Sinners
By Shelly Hollis
Monday, April 10, 2017
Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners? Matthew 9:11 NAS
Have you ever received a one-two punch from God? I have. He packs quite a wallop when needed!
The first time I ever heard “Jesus Friend of Sinners” by Casting Crowns, I could hardly breathe. I suddenly had the heavy realization that we Christians often become the stumbling blocks rather than the stepping stones to Jesus.
The song caused me to think about Jesus’ interactions with sinners and the religious leaders of His day. Here are few examples:
Now don’t get the wrong impression about Jesus.
Friend of sinners – YES! Tolerant of sin – NO!
For example, when Zaccheus received Jesus gladly, he restored fourfold what he had defrauded people. Jesus told the woman caught in adultery to “Go and sin no more”.
Notice the Master’s approach to people. It was always to win the person, not to win the argument. The only people I find Jesus truly reprimanding and condemning were the pious, elite, “religious” leaders.
I am so thankful that I can find relationship in Christ and not a list of religious do’s and don’ts. Get the relationship part right, and the do’s and don’ts will follow.
Jesus’ approach to people was simplistic. It seems to me that He looked for ways to connect and serve the person so that a natural conversation would occur. That’s when He pierced people’s hearts with His GRACE and got to the source of the problem – sin.
Yep – friend of sinners – that’s my Jesus!
We can’t ignore the lost and win them to Christ simultaneously. Ponder this statement today and record your thoughts in your journal. Do you see any areas which demand a change of behavior? How will you respond to this today?
Here is a link to the song, Jesus Friend of Sinners, by Casting Crowns.
Dear Precious Lord, thank You so much for opening our eyes to see how You want us to relate to others. Thank You for opening our ears to hear Your message. Continue to break our hearts for what breaks Yours, and guide us to the tasks which You have called us to, empowering us to love as You DO. In Your precious name, Jesus, we pray. Amen.
© 2017 by Shelly Hollis. All rights reserved.
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