MAJ-5 - Jesus: Friend of Sinners
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MORE ABOUT JESUS
In an attempt to criticize the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, his critics gave him
one of the greatest compliments you can ever imagine. In Matthew 11:19, they said of
Jesus, that they accused him of being a, “winebibber, a glutton, a friend of tax
collectors, and sinners.” Jesus is indeed the greatest friend a sinner, one who is living in
sin and desires to be saved, has ever had. Those words beautifully illustrate that idea.
In Matthew 11:19, Jesus begins to comment on the people of John's generation,
and those who really didn't listen to John, who was indeed a great servant of God. And
he goes on to say, “What am I going to liken this generation to?” As you think about
their fickle, their mundane nature, he's reminded of some of the things they said about
him, of the Son of Man. They said, “He is a winebibber, and a glutton, a friend of tax
collectors, and sinners,” and while they meant that to criticize, to deride, Jesus to make
him look less like the Messiah and the Savior. How true it is for the person lost in sin,
who wants to know God, who wants to be saved, not someone who's living in sin and
doesn't have a plan of changing, but for the person who is lost in sin. Jesus is indeed
the greatest friend they could ever know.
The reason he came was to save those who were lost. Mark 2:13-17 paints a
beautiful picture of Jesus, as the best friend that the one is lost in sin has. This text tells
us a great deal about the character of the Lord. Jesus is there with those who that the
society didn’t want anything to do with, the worst of society, and some are going to say
about Jesus, how is it that he can be the Messiah? He’s not over here with the religious
elite. In essence he's down in the slums with the tax collectors and sinners. Jesus will
say he did not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. In fact, he’ll go on to
say those who were well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. “I did not
come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Jesus uses a very interesting sense of logic and irony in his teaching. Think
about it this way, let's say you wake up tomorrow and you say, “Man I feel great I’m on
top of the world! I think I'll call up to the doctor and make sure everything's okay. I better
get this checked out. I feel too good.” Well you wouldn’t do that. Those who are well
have no need of a physician, but those who are sick, Jesus, the friend of a sinner, came
to save him and ultimately release him from that sin.
Why is Jesus a friend of sinners? As you think about this idea, if Jesus had not
been a friend to the one in sin, he would have been friendless. Have you ever thought
about that? As Jesus walked upon this Earth, he's the only one who didn't have sin.
Hebrews 4:15, “He was tempted all points as we are yet, without sin.” “Who committed
no sin nor was guile or deceit found in his mouth,” 1 Peter 2:21-22. Jesus, had he not
been a friend to those in sin, would've been friendless. We desperately need Jesus, the
friend to the one in sin. Recall Romans 3:10, “There is none righteous, no not one.”
What did Paul mean by that? All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Even
in the Old Testament 1 Kings 8:46, the Bible says, “There is none who does not sin.”
“Even the righteous sin, there’s not a righteous man in the face of the earth who does
good and does not sin,” Ecclesiastes 7:29. That's something that we all have to face
and so thank God that Jesus came to this world, that he was the greatest friend ,one
whose lost in sin, does have. I'll assure you that includes me and that includes you.
Ezekiel 18:4, “The soul who sins shall surely die.” I've been in that place of spiritual
death because of sin; you've been in that place. Our sins separated us from God. Isaiah
59:1-2, “God who is of pure eyes that behold evil cannot look upon the wickedness.
Separated from that that one who’s in sin.” And the salary, “the wages of sin is death,”
We rejoice in the idea, we’re excited in the idea, that Jesus came to this earth
that he did live as a friend to those who were in sin in that he made the greatest
sacrifice that could ever be made.
Why else is Jesus a friend of sinners? Jesus is the friend of the sinner, the one
lost in sin, because of his great love for the lost. It is the love of Christ that motivated
God to send Christ to the world. You're probably very familiar with the verse, “God so
loved the world he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not
perish, but have everlasting life.” It's God's love that motivated his son to come, and it is
the love of Christ that made salvation available.
Paul said in Romans 5:6, “While we were still without strength in due time or at
the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man one die yet
perhaps for a good man someone might dare to die but God demonstrates his own love
toward us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” Can't we say with the
beautiful words of 1 John 3:1, “Behold what manner of love the father has bestowed
upon us that we can be called children of God?” It's that love of Christ for those in sin
that motivates us to want to serve God each and every day.
Have you ever stopped to think about just what Jesus went through? You know
the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ; though he was rich yet for your sakes he became
poor that we through his poverty might be made rich. It’s that love that compels us to
live every day for the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Why is Jesus a friend to sinners? Jesus is that one who deeply cares and loves
those in sin, because they're the ones he came to heal and to save. You’re reminded
again of Mark 2, the religious elite the pious Pharisees and scribes and the Jews they’re
thinking to themselves, if this is our Messiah we've got a big problem, because instead
of being over here with us, he's over there with the tax collectors and sinners. And they
deride Jesus. They say, “Why are there tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus vividly said,
“Those who are well they don’t have need a doctor, but those who are sick, I came to
call the sinner to repentance.” Jesus is the friend of the one in sin, because they’re the
very people Jesus came to save and heal.
The one, who thinks he's right, is going to have a hard time really turning to
Jesus and submitting to his will. The one who knows he's lost in sin, that's a man Jesus
will be happy with. Let me give you an illustration, Luke 18, two men go up to the temple
to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stands and prays thus
within himself, “God I thank you that I'm not like other men of murder adultery whatever
it may be like this tax collector I give I fast I do all these things.” What about this other
man? He won’t even so much as raise his head to Heaven. He beat his breast and said,
“God be merciful to me, a sinner.” Jesus said, “Which of these two went to his house
justified?” The one who knew he was lost in knew he needed God's mercy and grace
not the man who thought he was right but the one who knew he was wrong.
Jesus is the friend of the one in sin, because they’re the very people Jesus came
to heal. Luke 19:10 Jesus vividly states his mission when he says that the Son of Man
came to seek and to save that which is lost. Those who are in sin are the ones he came
to save. You see sin is that disease. 2 Timothy chapter 2 verse 17, it's likened unto a
cancer, a gangrene maybe. Psalm 38:4, Psalm 37:25 it goes over our head like a heavy
burden. We can't bear it in of ourselves. Luke 17:10 Jesus taught about being thankful
and gives an illustration of the 10 lepers one came back gave glory to God. Those are
the people God is looking to save, the ones who desperately need him and his mercy
and his grace
Jesus is also a friend of sinners, the one lost in sin wants to be saved, and he’s a
friend of that person, because Jesus can teach them how to overcome a life of sin. He's
the perfect one really. He's the only one qualified to do that because he lived a life
above reproach. Remember Hebrews 4:15? “Tempted all points as we are yet, without
sin.” If you are going to find a great teacher you’d want one who was the premier person
to teach about this. How can Jesus be that premier person to teach us how to overcome
sin? Because, he lived just like you and me. He faced the problems we do. He dealt he
may be, they’re not worthy of the Lord. Friend that's not true.
Pride goes before destruction, the haughty spirit before a fall. We need the
attitude and the mindset of, let's take the gospel to the whole world. Let's not get caught
up thinking we’re better than others that Christ came just to save us or that people who
are living this way, we don't even need go talk to them. Friend those are the very people
we need to go and speak to, and so we want the mindset of going into the entire world
and preaching the gospel, the message of salvation, and giving people that hope.
You know, to be a friend to Jesus, I need to remember I was at one time lost in
sin, and I desperately needed God's grace. Ephesians 2:1, “you he made alive, who
were dead in trespasses and sins.” I've been in that place, maybe you’ve obey the
gospel; you've been in that place.
To be a friend to Jesus, I need to realize and be reminded of exactly what he did
to save mankind. And friend it's that reminder, it's thinking about that that motivates me
through my desire to obey Jesus and really be the type of friend that means that he
wants me to be. To go take the gospel to the lost, “go into all the world,” Mark 16:50.
Ezekiel 33, “To sound the trumpet to let the message be heard far and wide him we
preach warning every man teaching every man that we may present every man perfect
in Christ Jesus.”
Why do Christians want to take the message of Christ in the world? Because
they love the Lord, and they want others to know about his hope and his joy that is
made available. It's this idea that motivates us to encourage you, to encourage all men,
Have you really accepted? Have you obeyed the gospel of the Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ? I will promise you this if you're living in the depths of sin; you know what
that's like. Sin is a burden that you cannot bear alone. Whatever the sin is you need, the
greatest friend that anyone lost in sin has ever had, and I can assure you he can bring
you out of those depths and give you joy beyond measure.
Will you obey Christ? Will you become a Christian? It's not hard. On the day of
Pentecost in Acts 2, they heard the message about Jesus as the son of God Acts 2:36
they responded to that message in belief and repentance. Peter preached repent and
be converted. Acts 3:19 those who gladly received that word, they were baptized for the
remission of their sins. Acts 2:38 the Bible says they continued steadfastly in the
apostle's doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread, and in prayers.
And so, today our hope, our desire, is for each person to see that Jesus truly is the
friend to the one who is lost in sin and wants to be saved. Won’t you let him save you
today, by obeying his gospel?
Study Questions for: “More About Jesus: Lesson 5”
1. What did they accuse Jesus of in Matthew 11:19?
2. In Romans 3:10 who was found righteous?
3. In Ezekiel 18:4, what happens to the soul that sins?
4. According to John 8:32, what does the truth make us?
5. According to Mark 8:36-37, what is the most important thing each man has?
6. What good has Jesus done according to Mark 7:37?
7. What happened in Acts 2 when they heard the message?
8. In John 4, what did Jesus tell the woman?
9. According to Matthew 4:1-11, how did Jesus deal with the testing in the
10. According to Acts 2:38, what did they continue to do that we must also do?