I have had meals with some very nice people and some rather sinful one’s too. Sometimes we create artificial boundaries with people. Maybe we are afraid that “they” (sinners) will influence us, forgetting it is us who are to influence them with the light and love of Christ. Jesus didn’t compromise when he ate with sinners (or worse yet, tax collectors). He was just as holy with them as He was with His own family. Christians seem weak when we withdraw and we are weak when we affirm or ally with sin. So, where is the sweet spot of Jesus’ style? We love people without boundary, but we do not approve of sin, nor participate in it. My unforgiven friends (btw, I am not claiming to be without sin) will always get my love and affection, (that’s God’s command), but I cannot give hearty approval to their sin (for this is contrary to God’s nature and commands). Parents who are confused about how to respond to children going astray, especially in the alphabet soup world (lgbtqi, etc.) could find solace in this approach.
And it happened that He was reclining at the table in his house, and many tax collectors and sinners were dining with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many of them, and they were following Him. When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they said to His disciples, “Why is He eating with tax collectors and sinners?” And hearing this, Jesus *said to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark 2:15-17 NASB
Is there anyone with whom I am withholding love and affection? In what way am I participating with the great physician Jesus in the healing of the hurts of people (sinners) around me?
God, as this day begins- I look forward to what You have ahead. I woke up aware of people who need my attention. Thank you for prompting me to focus on what and who matters most to You. As Christmas season unfolds, I pray for the people of Southern Israel, that You would preserve life and comfort those mourning the loss of life in wartime. Would you continue to work within the life of our church as we love people in Jesus name and try to glorify You in our world. I am full of gratitude for my lovely wife, children and grandchildren- thank you for Your manifold blessings.