Eating With ‘Sinners’
Read Luke Chapter 5
Lk 5:30 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to His disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?” 31 Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Some of the things we hear regularly today go something like this: “Jesus ate with sinners. He loved them, He did not condemn them. He would never offend men and women who were same-sex attracted. He would mingle among them and be friends with them.” These kinds of statements are bandied about often when anyone dares to say that homosexual behaviors are a sin according to God’s word. What they fail to include is mentioned in this great passage.
The reason Jesus communed with sinners is because He wanted them to have an opportunity to repent. In this scripture, it is obvious that Jesus was aware that the sinners He dined with needed Him. They were sick. They needed a doctor to treat them and bring about healing for their souls. The sinners were missing something vitally important in their lives. They needed to repent. They were on their way to eternal destruction, and repentance was a medicine that would bring about their healing.
Those who espouse gay marriage, and despise any attempts by the Christian community to help them see the error of their ways, falsely believe that Christians hate gays. There surely are some who do, but the real Christian, acting upon the urging of the Holy Spirit, will indeed “eat and drink” with the gay community. But as they do so, they will be like Jesus – they will be calling them to repentance. That warning against willful sinfulness is a pure act of love.
Here’s my personal opinion, and it likely is right on target. Jesus only “ate and drank” with sinners who were open to repentance. There is at least one account of His eating with a Pharisee, but for the most part, He ate with the “sinners” who knew something was amiss in their lives. Jesus was always telling those around Him about the way of life. Many of His teachings were purposed to show mankind how their lives must be changed – how men cannot continue to live as they wish if they wanted to find their way to eternal life.
I am pretty sure that if Jesus walked the earth today, He would indeed mingle with some of the openly gay community. But He would not do so without calling them to repentance. And, He would be called a hater for His attempts to explain the way of life. No matter how much dissent we hear over our biblically based views on homosexuality, we must continue to cling to God’s word. Soft-pedaling the truth about sin does nothing for the Kingdom of God. It only allows a man to continue unhindered down his path to eternal destruction. If he rejects the words of life, at least he will have been given an opportunity to repent. Then the burden rests upon him, not the messenger.
Eze 3:19 But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself.
Prayer: Father, we are facing more opposition to Your word every day. Strengthen us, so that we may continue to believe truth and to be willing to share that truth with others. Give us wisdom to know how to deliver truth in love, even when the world doesn’t discern it. Of course we want to eat and drink with sinners. We want them to have opportunity to repent. Lord, may many more do so, before they depart this life.