Son of Man, Healer, Saviour, Master, Lord are a few words used to describe Jesus. My friend put up a picture with a write up that says, ‘this year, I want to be more like Jesus – hang out with sinners’ and a list of other things that Jesus will do.
This particular reputation of Jesus has become very popular for good and bad reasons. I have been reflecting a lot on this description of Jesus, as the Friend of sinners. Why was He a Friend of sinners and how can I be just like Him?
I find that today, many people reference Jesus’ friendship with sinners only as a justification to remain equally yoked with unbelievers. But scriptures make it clear that we are not to be equally yoked. So how can we be like Jesus, the Friend of sinners and at the same time be unequally yoked?
Jesus indeed was a friend of sinners, that is the exact reason why He came. But Jesus was conscious of why He came, not just to befriend but to save. Friendship was a pathway to transformation. Jesus never failed to tell the sinner, go and sin no more; He never failed to tell stories that redirect, correct and admonish. More importantly, He never did what sinners did. His life was a self-correcting instrument as He called on all sinners that He encountered to follow Him – His way, His life and His ministry.
So for those of us who have positioned ourselves just like Jesus, the Friend of sinners, I want to ask a simple question – When last did you look that friend headed in the wrong direction and say in Jesus’ word, go and sin no more? When last did your life lead your friend to transformation?
The Bible tells us that we are not to be equally yoked with the unbeliever. If it is not clear where we stand, then our light is not shining. We are called to take a stand and just like Jesus, say to the sinner, Go and sin no more!
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We should love them too much to leave them the way they are. Only when we are deeply rooted in Jesus can we confidently hang out with sinners and not be influenced by sin or judge the sinner. Then we can openly rebuke…out of love….ruffle their feathers…out of love….show them the way to Jesus…out of love. Show us how to really love Lord!
Thanks so much Thelma and Ido for consistently sharing the Word and showing the Way. God sees…..God knows…and that’s enough.
Lord Jesus, help me to be like you. Help me to have compassion on lost souls rather than judge them. Moreso help me to spread the good news of salvation to everyone. Thanks very much my Pastors. God bless you.
I believe Jesus hung out with sinners and used friendship as a tool to save like you said. But as Christians, it looks like we are more interested in playing judge rather than truly befriending and loving people we tag sinners. More like the Pharisees rather than Jesus.
I pray for the grace to recognize the difference, and the wisdom and courage to preach the goodnews when it counts like Jesus would.