Even the most basic reading of the Gospels tells us that Jesus was loved by sinners and repeatedly challenged and questioned by the religious people of His day. In fact, Jesus’ harshest words were not directed towards people far from God, but rather to those who claimed to be the closest. Then why does it seem like the church caters to the religious and resists the “sinners” of our day? Why do sinners often resist the church and Jesus’ followers if Jesus was such a friend to sinners? Join us for part one of Jesus, Friend of Sinners, where we will take a before and after look at a sinner who resisted and then ran toward Jesus.
Passage (read it):
Principles (know them):
Jesus draws people to God; religion warns them to keep their distance.
Practices (do them):
People who are far from God: Get to know Jesus, the friend of sinners.
People who are near to God: Be more like Jesus, the friend of sinners.
Questions to Consider:
- Is your response to Jesus more like Peter in Luke 5 or John 21?
- Does your sin drive you toward Jesus or away from Him?
- Jesus followers: Are you living your faith in such a way that it attracts sinners to Jesus or are you pushing them away?
This week’s readings come from Romans 1-8 where Paul describes sin, its effects on us, and God’s response to it. As you read these passages, how do they align with Luke’s descriptions of Jesus’ response to sinners?