One of the things that I never understood, even before coming to Christ, is the way some “Christians” behave. I heard someone say that their Mother wouldn’t speak to a certain relative “because Mom is a good Christian lady and they are not”. But if Jesus is our example of what a Christian should be (and He is), then we have to look at how He handled sinners. We see Jesus being criticized by the religious people of His day – “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors* and sinners?” (Luke 5:30 NIV). Again, we see a Pharisee who is hosting dinner with Jesus in his house when a woman enters and washes Jesus’s feet with tears and dries them with her hair – “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner**” (Luke 7:39 NIV). We also see our Lord eating with lepers who were unclean and therefor not to be approached or touched.
Finally, we see a woman who sinned, brought before Jesus to be condemned. “Teacher,” they said to Him, “this woman was caught in the act of committing adultery. In the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do You say?”(John 8:4-5 HCSB) Jesus knew perfectly well what the Law of Moses said about such things and He knew that it said “Both” people involved were to be stoned to death for this sin (see Lev 20:10). The Lords answer to this test is commonly known today – He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her (John 8:7 KJV). Knowing all this, my question is – When did Jesus change? When did it become acceptable for those of us who call Jesus Lord to look down our noses at the very people Jesus showed such love and compassion to?
The answer to that question is – Never! It is not acceptable neither do we see Jesus exemplifying such behavior. True, He took issue with those who thought themselves to be religious, pious and pure but even those He spoke with openly and often. But to sinners He was a compassionate friend ever ready to heal their hurts with the Fathers forgiveness and love. Shouldn’t we be ready to do the same? So, whether it’s a homeless person or a drug addict on the street. Or a successful businessman ruthlessly making his way up the corporate ladder. Or, the lady next door who sips her wine at play-dates with other Moms. And especially those whom may have been churchgoers but have fallen away from fellowship. They all have one thing in common – they need Jesus! If Jesus doesn’t condemn sinners then who are we to do so?
“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” John 3:17 KJV
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. John 13;35 KJV
Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8 KJV
And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, Heb 10:24 HCSB
*Tax Collectors were grouped together with sinners because they often demanded more money than needed from the public.
** The woman with the box of perfume is speculated to have been a prostitute which would explain the indignation of the “righteous” host.