So yesterday we talked about how Jesus often sided with the underdogs . . . We see examples of this when he reached out and touched lepers – people who probably had not felt a human touch in quite some time – without fear. We see him choosing Zaccheus, a very-much despised tax collector living in Jericho, to be his host for dinner. And we see him loving the adulteress and the Samaritan woman.
Of course, leave it to the Pharisees, those judgmental ninnies who placed rules over people to question why he was “eating with tax collectors and sinners?”
To which Jesus replies: “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:11-13)
And guess what? We’re all sick. Each and every one of us is sick with sin in the eyes of God.
Thankfully, He sent His son so we don’t have to live with that forever. Whew.
However, the point is this: we all sin. Every one of us.
Some sins are more obvious to the general public while some are so sneaky the one afflicted doesn’t even notice.
But sins are not graded on a sliding scale. A sin is a sin is a sin. They’re all equal in the eyes of God.
A while ago, I stumbled upon this quote:
And I thought . . . YES. (Earth-shattering . . . I know.)
I’ve always loved the verse in John 15 about Jesus being the one true vine and God the gardener but there’s a part I often glossed over . . .
Remain in me and I will remain in you.
When we choose to follow Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us.
Yet this is a deal between Jesus and us: if we remain in Him through obedience, prayer, and humility, He’ll remain in us in Spirit.
But if we are judging others, we’re not remaining in Him because He who is within us didn’t judge.
When we make judgements, against homosexuals or those who have been divorced or the tired mother who just spoke too harshly to her children at Wal-Mart, we are showing the world we have not remained in Him.
But when we love them anyway, despite their sin, we do exactly what Jesus did for us because He loves US anyway.
I’m not suggesting you just turn a blind-eye and condone others to do whatever they want because hey, we all sin.
However, I am saying we need to meet people right where they are because this is precisely what Jesus did.
We won’t get very far if we sling mud at those who are different from us but we might if we show love and ask to hear their story and be the hands and feet of Jesus.
At the end of the day, it’s not our job to save them. There’s only One who can save and that’s between the two of them.
But we can love them well for who they are, right here, right now.
Much like Jesus does for us every single day.