Quick Thoughts: Jesus Chilled With The Sinners
A common refrain from unbelievers who celebrate a near-hedonistic existence is that, “Hey man, Jesus chilled with sinners”. [On a side note, I must admit that hipsters, hippies, and hedonists are pretty much the same thing in my mind. So my hipster-ee-ist apparently talks like a stoner from the early ’70s]. I think they make this statement for a few possible reasons: A.) They are trying to convince themselves that living the way they live is like cool, man… in order to hide from the emptiness they feel inside. B.) Out of a desire to be passive-aggressive towards Believers by suggesting Christ would hang with them instead of with today’s “Christians”. C.) Other reasons that I haven’t quite thought out yet and don’t feel like bothering with.
There is, of course, a kernel of truth in thought B, in that those who claim Christ’s name but are addicted to Religion are not exactly a shining example of what it truly means to be a fully-devoted follower of Jesus. BUT… that still misses the Grand Truth that we are, all of us – Christians included, sinners.
But the final nail in the coffin of this silly trope of tripe is that Jesus did not “hang out” with sinners who wanted to willfully keep on sinning. He found no fault with the adulterous woman because He saw that she was repentant in her Heart. After He stopped the stoning, He did not tell her to “Go, and do exactly what you have been…”. He told her to “Go, and sin no more”.
The first step to a relationship with Christ is admitting that you have fallen short of God’s glory and there is nothing that you can do to fix that. Next comes accepting that Christ is the only way to Heaven and Fellowship with God. And that leads to repentance, turning away from how you have been living your life and beginning to live for Christ alone. From that point on it is a daily struggle filled with both successes (when we give it all to God) and spectacular failures (when we give in to our nature).
The point is, during His physical time on Earth, Jesus Christ sought out those who were ready to repent – those who knew they were missing something and found it in Jesus. His Holy Spirit continues that work to this day.
Jesus didn’t excuse or endorse sin by “hanging out” with sinners. Instead he hung out with the sinners who were ready to be led out of sin by Him.