Jesus Loves Sinners
Hello, this is Pastor Don of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to The Kingdom Perspective.
Jesus loves sinners. You could even rightfully say that He prefers sinners.
But, our problem is that we tend to make too little of our sin, and therefore too little of our Savior. We pretend that our sin is not as bad as it is, or that God is not as mad at sin as He is.
Now, we could stop here, and just berate ourselves over the seriousness of our sin. However, the Bible does not; it encourages us to go deeper.
Why do we tend to downplay our sin? Well, the Bible suggests that it is a self-justifying move. In other words, we intuitively know that sin is bad and God is mad (Romans 1:18). And so, at a very deep, perhaps even subconscious level, we justify ourselves. We make excuses for our sin: “It’s not really my fault! It’s really my wife’s fault…my husband’s fault…my kid’s fault…my parent’s fault…. It’s really the ‘systems’ fault, not me.”
Or we begin to compare our sin with others: “At least my sin is not as bad as those people. At least I don’t condemn others like my political opponents do!” “At least my personal choices don’t destroy the fabric of society as those evil people do!”
All such maneuvers are a kind of deflection—a defense mechanism—a way of protecting ourselves from God. It is a way of avoiding the reality of our own sin. But when we avoid our sin, we avoid Jesus.
Jesus loves sinners. He loves sinners just like you and me. With Him it is safe to lower your guard and let Him approach. During His earthly ministry, Jesus was so attracted to sinners and sinners to Him that He was constantly criticized for “receiving sinners and eating with them” (Luke 15:2). One gets the impression that sinners enjoyed Jesus and that He genuinely enjoyed them.
My friend, your best ticket to Jesus’s table is not your spirituality but your sin.
Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective.
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”
~ Luke 15:1-7 (ESV)