Jesus Welcomes Sinners Nathanael Smith
Jesus befriended sinners. It’s one of the first things you learn as a Christian, that Jesus was the type of person who welcomed in sinners and befriended those people who were outcasts in society. It’s the kind of sentiment that can just become quite familiar to Christians. But look at the implications of it and it turns out to be an absolute game-changer.
Jesus befriended sinners, but what does that mean for us?
The fact is, there are some sinners we find it easy to show mercy to and others that we find difficult to love. Through cultural conditioning, our upbringing, the papers we read, we see some figures as irredeemable villains and others as misunderstood. We’re good at showing how much we care, say, for drug-users, but put us in front of a banker who contributed to the financial crash and got away with it and it becomes a lot more difficult. Jesus doesn’t give us that get-out clause. He showed love to the people who were despised at all ends of the spectrum, so which sinners do you find difficult to welcome in that Jesus would have loved?
We need to keep our perspective of the great truth that we’re sinners saved by a merciful God. That should fuel us with compassion for other sinners, motivate our evangelism and lead us to worship.
Who do you think the biggest “villain” in the world is today?
What do we think of as Christian clichés, or something that’s so familiar that we forget how important and revolutionary it is as a truth in our lives?
Which sinners are you more inclined to show love and compassion to? And who do you find it hard to forgive and show mercy to?
How can we become more like Jesus in the way he loved those who were despised? Talk practical steps.
How does this affect the way we share the gospel with others?