June 11 I Saturday
“I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Someone once said that the worst sin is not to hate a fellow creature but to be indifferent towards them. We see this indifference portrayed in Jesus’s parable of the Good Samaritan, where a man was not only beaten but stripped by robbers and left half-dead on the side of the road. A Jewish priest and a Levite passed by on the other side, but a Samaritan took pity and helped him. The first two were as damaging as the robbers who beat up the man because they left him without lifting a finger to help him.
Every human being is somebody that God loves, even those rejected by society. We might remember the woman of Samaria, who married five times and was now living with another man to whom she was not married. She was ostracized by her community and did not come to draw water when other people did. Jesus’s disciples probably passed her on the road, but Jesus stayed in Samaria to wait for her in the heat of the day where they had an interesting conversation. He became her friend and her life was transformed.
A character trait of Jesus that irritated the religious people of His day was that He was a friend of sinners and tax collectors. When Jesus went to Zacchaeus’s home, the Pharisees sneered, “If He knew who this man was, He would never have gone to eat with him.” But the Pharisees got it backwards. It was because Jesus knew exactly who Zacchaeus was that He went into the home of one of the neediest men in Jericho. Jesus became Zacchaeus’s friend because Jesus is a friend of sinners.
In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Paul lists some of the sinners of Corinth: the sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, homosexual offenders, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, slanderers, and swindlers. Following, he says, “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11). Nobody comes to Christ until Christ has come to them. Even when Zacchaeus was swindling and the woman of Samaria was committing adultery, Jesus was involved in drawing them to Himself.
We were all sinners but Jesus sought us out. As a result, we dare not be indifferent to those around us or put people into categories saying, “Well I can’t befriend him yet because he hasn’t come to Christ.” Instead, we must allow the Spirit of Christ, who first accepted us, to produce in us a desire to befriend sinners and draw them to Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank You for coming to befriend sinners like me. Help me not to be indifferent towards others but love them as You have loved me.