Monday, June 13, 2011


A well known evangelist from a few years ago, who founded a college named after him, once stated that Jesus wouldn't even talk to a sinner unless they became "born again." He made this statement while talking about Jesus telling Nicodemus that he needed to be born again. In context, he was defending his school's policy of only enrolling Christians. That is fine, because the college was ostensibly founded to train Christian students. I do have a problem with the idea that Jesus required people to be "born again," or "be saved" before he would even talk to them.

All through the Gospels, we find Jesus not only accepting sinners, but hanging out with them. The religious leaders of the day called him a glutton and a drunk. I seriously doubt they called Jesus those things because he was a tea-totaler who ate very little. His disciples were asked why he ate with sinners. Jesus answer was that he came to save the lost, and to heal the sick. The religious leaders were not lost or sick, at least in their own minds. But they missed it completely.

When the woman caught in adultery was brought before Jesus, he didn't ask her if she believed on him. He simply told her that he didn't condemn her and that she needed to stop doing what she was doing. The woman who anointed Jesus' feet was a known sinner, yet Jesus accepted her adoration without any condition. I would venture to say that the song, "Jesus, What a Friend of Sinners" is sung in the chapel of the above mentioned college. That's exactly what Jesus is, a friend of sinners.

I for one, am grateful that Jesus doesn't put prerequisites on our coming to him. he doesn't tell us to go get our act together before he will deal with us. He calls us to come to him as we are, and then he takes care of the changes that he wants in our lives. We do people a disservice when we tell them that there are certain things they must do in order to come to Christ. He truly is a friend of sinners, and we must not forget that.

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