Jesus said, I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to REPENTANCE.
Repentance means TOTAL CHANGE!
It doesn’t mean feeling sorry.
It doesn’t mean remorseful.
The scriptures declare the Esau sought repentance (change) with tears, but it was not given to him.
Esau, “…found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.” Heb 12:17
It doesn’t matter how much a person sobs, weeps, and says sorry. That is NOT repentance!
What the Pharisees didn’t realize (or at least didn’t acknowledge) is that a sinner who has repented is not a sinner anymore. They have crossed over from being a sinner to being a saint.
If you call ISIS fighters to renounce ISIS, are you really a friend of ISIS?
If you call gangsters out from gang membership, are you truly a friend of the gang?
Likewise, Jesus made it clear. His purpose was to call sinners out from their sin.
Jesus CONDEMNED individuals, communities, and even ENTIRE CITIES. Why? Because the sinners thereof refused to repent. Jesus was certainly NOT sinner-friendly.
But the Pharisees didn’t understand that ex-sinners are NOT sinners anymore. They needed to realize that ex-sinners have crossed the line from being a sinner, to being righteous. Jesus made a clear distinction between the two as seen in the first sentence of this article.
You must understand that the Pharisees were upset that Jesus called out their sin time, and time again. And childishly, they returned the accusation by calling Jesus a sinner. It’s the age-old game of – you call me a sinner, I’ll call you a sinner.
And indeed the Pharisees played that game. They called Jesus a glutton, a drunkard, a sinner, and thus, as friend of sinners.
But NONE of these accusations are true. The Pharisees knew that if they could effectively pin ONE sin on Jesus, that would make Him a sinner, and not a savior.
They knew that if Jesus was a friend of sinners, that would be a direct violation of the Law of God, thus reducing Him to be a sinner, along with His “friends”.
What many people don’t realize is that they are repeating the accusation of the Pharisees. They are NOT going by the words of Jesus, nor are they going by the words of His disciples.
It’s about time you go by the words of Jesus, not the words of the Pharisees.
Who did Jesus call sinners?
The Pharisees, of course!
Was He their friend?
Not at all! He called them snakes, vipers, whitewashed tombs, sons of Hell, and sons of Satan. Furthermore, Jesus’ favorite word for the Pharisee was “HYPOCRITE!”.
That’s not sinner-friendly!
But if you are a Christian, you need to go by what Jesus said.
Who did Jesus say were His friends?
In His own words, Jesus said, “You are my friends, IF ye do whatsoever I command you.” John 15:14.
Notice: Clearly there is a condition. You are His friend IF you do what He commands.
What did Jesus command?
Did He command anyone to be a sinner?
Of course not! He commanded all to repent from their sin, effectively making them workers of righteousness, NOT sinners.
If that is not enough scripture, and common-sense for you, let’s continue…
Let’s see what good ol’ Paul says about the subject of befriending sinners.
1 Cor. 5:11 But now I have written to you NOT TO KEEP COMPANY with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner–not even to eat with such a person.
1 Cor. 10:21 “Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.
2 Cor. 6:14 – “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?”
What about James?
James 4:4 – “…Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
Let’s not agree with the Pharisees. Jesus wasn’t a friend of sinners.
Rather, let’s agree with who Jesus said are sinners – the Pharisees, and all those who disobey God.
Was He their friend?
In case you need more help, let me answer this question for you – NO!
Do not side with the enemies of God. Side with God. Jesus was NOT a friend of sinners.