Focus on God
GOD IS THE FRIEND OF SINNERS

One of the complaints lodged against Jesus was that he
was a friend of sinners.  It is rare that you will find
someone of great stature spending time with tax
collectors and sinners, but that is what Jesus did.  This
irritated the religious community.  "This man receives
sinners and eats with them."  (Luke 15:1,2)  They could
not accept that a Rabbi could do such a thing.  Surely
the "dirty" would cause him to be dirty.

Taking the point further, it is hard to understand how
God, the Creator, the one who has always existed and
knows all things, would lower himself to even approach
mankind.  Even the story of the Fall of Mankind in
Genesis 3 reveals a God who pursues sinners.

The apostle Paul said, "while we were still helpless, at
the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  For one will
hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the
good man someone would dare even to die.  But God
demonstrates His own
love toward us, in that while we
were yet sinners, Christ died for us".  (Romans 5:6-8)  
Paul reminds us that man does not think like God does.  
He loves all.  He is a friend of all even though all have
sinned.

The implication is that God is full of patience and
reaches out to every human being as a
friend and not a
judge.  Oh yes, he is a judge, but first he is a friend.

God does not pick and choose as man does.  The
Pharisees could not believe that Jesus would lower his
standards as to be a friend of the worst of society.  The
arrogance of the Pharisees is so sad because they too
were sinners needing the friendship of God.  They felt
that they were above others. They simply did not see
their own desperation.  Jesus warned the Pharisees
when he reminded them of their lack.  "You disregard
justice and the love of God".  (Luke 11:42)

We can learn something from the error of the
Pharisees.  All of us -  not just some, but all of us - are
sinners (Romans 3:23)  And God has chosen to reach
out to us.  What a wonderful reason to worship him
today!
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