Jesus – Friend of Sinners
I feel very compelled and urged to give both an encouragement and also a warning at the same time just because there are always two sides to a coin.
Firstly, I want to bring clarity to the belief and fact that Jesus is definitely a friend of sinners! The entire canon of Scripture attests to the fact that God, in the Old Testament, and Jesus also in the New Testament befriended sinners because, after all, how in the world was He meant to show friendship to sinners without associating Himself with the very sinners He came to save!. We can see and understand quite clearly from Scripture that Jesus’ whole goal was to come and save the lost – those who are caught up in sin – and heal and save them from their iniquities. One needs to understand that for Christ to save sinners He had to expose sin for what it was and in order to expose sin He had to shed light into darkness thereby opening the eyes of the blind – the heart of man – and allowing them to repent of their sins in order to be saved.
Secondly, and this where the other side of the coin comes into play is that; JESUS, A FRIEND OF SINNERS, DOES NOT GIVE US LICENSE TO SIN! The phrase, “Jesus, a friend of sinners” has been abused, stretched out of proportion; out of bounds to a great extent, and the result is that we have so many Christians running around with lives full of sin, sinning on a whim, living lives as they please just because that they believe that Jesus is a friend of sinners. They, therefore, have the false and perverted belief that they can do anything and everything they please just because “Jesus is a friend of sinners”
Yes, Jesus is a friend of sinners in order to show them the light and truth that comes from God. But, because He has redeemed us, we are now commanded to follow Him in and with obedience. It is our post-redemption obedience that shows our love for Christ and in turn, His continual friendship with us!