Faith: Jesus is a friend to sinners

Sinners were mindful of their own unrighteousness; are we?

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Story after story in the Bible shows us Jesus meeting the sinner where they are at (Matthew 11:28).

Jesus’s individually hand-selected disciples were so glaringly opposed to the typical choices of a typical rabbi’s followers. Working class, uneducated and seemingly unprepared.

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All of these sinners had a glaring commonality. They were aware of themselves falling short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). They were mindful of their own unrighteousness.

Therefore, Jesus met them where they were at. In doing so, the religious leaders of the time were offended that this Jesus would be seen with this particular crowd (Matthew 9:11).

What about us today? Our goal as followers of Christ is to emulate Christ (Philippians 2:5).


So, do we reach out to “the least of these” as he did? Do we acknowledge our own unrighteousness; or like the religious leaders in Jesus’s day, do we try to cover that with our own blend of self-righteousness?

Look at the modern church. Is it a hospital for the sick as Jesus urges (Luke 5:31), or has it become a "good old boys" club where we compare our cloaks of self-righteousness while sin-conscious sinners continue to perish without the knowledge of who and what Jesus is?

Do we spend more time of trying to convince our brothers and sisters in Christ of our own righteousness than we do dealing with the obvious sin that lives in us all (Romans 3:10) and being honest about that Jesus said he came to save sinners (Luke 5:32)?

If we have convinced ourselves of our own righteousness, what more need is there of a savior? Our lives can and will change under the headship of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

It won’t be through focusing on righteousness for righteousness’ sake; it will be through focusing on Jesus.

While we certainly don’t want to celebrate the sin in our lives (Romans 6:1), denying it is not only hypocritical and unattractive to the world, but also dishonoring to the price Jesus paid on the cross because of our sin: “In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:14)

Blair Ecker is pastor at Pine Mountain Gospel Church in Backus.

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