Perhaps of all the titles and names of Jesus Christ, the most scandalous is “friend of sinners.” This title excluded the Messiah from the religious and socially elite groups of His day. The scribes and Pharisees despised the fact that Jesus embraced the outcasts, the poor, the lame, the prodigals and harlots of Palestine. Christ never defiled Himself and never compromised Scriptural standards in reaching out to the world, but reach out, He did!
Jesus came to seek and to save that which is lost. Jesus, in His righteousness could have easily condemned the woman taken in adultery. He could have justly rejected the defiled condition of the leper. He could have easily destroyed the enslaved souls of oppression. Yes, like the priest and the Levite in the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus could have easily refused the poor soul that was beaten on the side of life’s road. But instead, he was a Friend. The kind of Friend we all want. The kind of Friend we all want to be.
Jesus is still a Friend of sinners. He still reaches out His arms of grace to those who have fallen. He still loves and cares for the broken and wounded souls. He still offers hope and peace to those who are all alone. Scandalous? Perhaps. But He’s the kind of Friend that gives no thought to what others think.
Daily Reading: Revelation 17-19
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