Jesus was often accused of being friends with sinners and outcastes by the religious leaders of His day. They could not understand why a man who claimed to be a religious leader would possibly have time for people that were considered sinners or outcastes by the religious “elite” of society.
Jesus loved all people and as He travelled around with His disciples, He made connections with people that most “religious” people would avoid while walking down the street. The thing I love about Jesus’ interactions with the people most considered sinners or outcastes is, they didn’t stay that way for long. After spending time with Jesus, they knew there was a better way. The Bible is full of stories of people who turned their lives around after an encounter with Jesus. Mary Magdalene, Zacchaeus, and the Samaritan woman at the well to name a few.
Why did Jesus take the time to do this? Luke 19:10 tells us this very clearly. It says, “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” Jesus mission was, and still is, to seek and save the lost. Today He uses you and me to do this. We are His hands, His feet, and His mouthpiece to tell people just how much He loves them.
My heart is to not be like the “religious elite” of Jesus’ day, but to be a normal every day guy who loves people and points them to Jesus. Maybe instead of walking the dusty roads of Palestine, we sit at a desk in an office and share our faith when the opportunity arises, or we drive long distances to visit with people who need a listening ear, or we talk with our neighbours over the side fence?
However we do it, we just need to remember that our mission is to continue Jesus’ mission to seek and save the lost.
Dear Jesus, thank You that You came to seek and save the lost. Thank You that You found me. I pray that I will be able to continue Your mission. I pray You will show me people who need You. I pray You will give me a love for them and give me the right words to say when I speak to them. Use me to seek and save the lost. I ask this in Your name, Amen.