How Did Jesus Respond To

Sinners?

This is perhaps the central question. Jesus is the perfect model. We should emulate Him. Christians should respond to homosexuals in the same way that Jesus responded to sinners of whatever sort. Asking how Jesus responded to sinners is simply to ask how Jesus responded to people, since all people are sinners. We could look at that but it might be even more helpful to look at the occasions when sin was part of the encounter. Let us consider some. Compassion There are many examples of Jesus extending friendship and mercy to sinners. He was known as “the friend of sinners” and was clearly loved by all who experienced His mercy. Examples include: The woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11) Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10) The Samaritan woman (John 4:1-42) Matthew (tax collector) (Luke 5:27-32) Paralysed man lowered through roof (Luke 5:17-26) Sinful woman at Pharisee’s house (Luke 7:36-50) Challenge Some people Jesus challenged to make a decision. In some instances we don’t know what decision they then made. For example: Nicodemus (John 3:1-21) Rich young ruler (Matthew 19:16-22; Mark 10:17-22; Luke 18:18-30) A teacher of the Law (Mark 12:28-34) Condemnation Jesus roundly criticised some people and told them, for example, they were children of the devil. For example: The Pharisees and teachers of the law (collectively) o Matthew 23 o John 8:31-47 The Sadducees (collectively) o Mark 12:24-27

So what makes the difference?

What is the difference between those three categories? We can assume that Jesus did not simply arbitrarily accept some and reject others. The difference is very simple. Those who new they needed help and were willing to repent, received Jesus’ compassion and mercy. Others rejected and opposed Jesus. Far from humbly acknowledging their need of help, they proudly resisted God’s offer of a Saviour. Rather than repent, they chose to continue going their own way. And, in the middle, were some who had not yet come to any conclusion and needed to be challenged to make a decision. Jesus once said to some Pharisees… Mark 2:17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but those who are ill. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’ There are no righteous people but there are people who believe they are righteous and do not need a Saviour. Jesus was simply saying that He had come for those who knew they were sinners. Jesus’ response hinged on the person’s willingness to repent. It is worth studying those examples. We see that: Jesus fellowshipped with sinners and appears to have enjoyed their company Jesus confronted people with their sin Jesus was very ready to forgive and to offer people a new life Jesus was willing to confront unrepentant sinners face-to-face. Some of His words sound very harsh but, rather than judge Him, we should learn from Him. Jesus warned of judgement Although Jesus is often presented as being meek and mild and accepting everyone, that is not true to the example He has left us. Although love is often defined in purely warm and accepting terms, Jesus, love embodied, was not unfailingly “nice”. He was unfailingly loving but He reveals that love must sometimes be tough and hard. Jesus mixed with tax-collectors and sinners, not to reaffirm them in their sin but to call them to a better life. A doctor does not visit patients to rejoice in their illness but to provide healing.

Imitating Jesus

It is crucially important that Christians fellowship with, and care for, LGBTQ people and are as willing to accept them as Jesus would have been. But it is also crucial that Christians follow Jesus’ example of offering good news and seeking repentance. Genuine love requires that, as Jesus demonstrates. Related pages
· · · · ·
© 2017 Peter Cheyne
A Christian’s Guide To Homosexuality
Truth In Love
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How Did Jesus Respond

To Sinners?

This is perhaps the central question. Jesus is the perfect model. We should emulate Him. Christians should respond to homosexuals in the same way that Jesus responded to sinners of whatever sort. Asking how Jesus responded to sinners is simply to ask how Jesus responded to people, since all people are sinners. We could look at that but it might be even more helpful to look at the occasions when sin was part of the encounter. Let us consider some. Compassion There are many examples of Jesus extending friendship and mercy to sinners. He was known as “the friend of sinners” and was clearly loved by all who experienced His mercy. Examples include: The woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11) Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10) The Samaritan woman (John 4:1-42) Matthew (tax collector) (Luke 5:27-32) Paralysed man lowered through roof (Luke 5:17-26) Sinful woman at Pharisee’s house (Luke 7:36- 50) Challenge Some people Jesus challenged to make a decision. In some instances we don’t know what decision they then made. For example: Nicodemus (John 3:1-21) Rich young ruler (Matthew 19:16-22; Mark 10:17-22; Luke 18:18-30) A teacher of the Law (Mark 12:28-34) Condemnation Jesus roundly criticised some people and told them, for example, they were children of the devil. For example: The Pharisees and teachers of the law (collectively) o Matthew 23 o John 8:31-47 The Sadducees (collectively) o Mark 12:24-27

So what makes the difference?

What is the difference between those three categories? We can assume that Jesus did not simply arbitrarily accept some and reject others. The difference is very simple. Those who new they needed help and were willing to repent, received Jesus’ compassion and mercy. Others rejected and opposed Jesus. Far from humbly acknowledging their need of help, they proudly resisted God’s offer of a Saviour. Rather than repent, they chose to continue going their own way. And, in the middle, were some who had not yet come to any conclusion and needed to be challenged to make a decision. Jesus once said to some Pharisees… Mark 2:17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but those who are ill. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’ There are no righteous people but there are people who believe they are righteous and do not need a Saviour. Jesus was simply saying that He had come for those who knew they were sinners. Jesus’ response hinged on the person’s willingness to repent. It is worth studying those examples. We see that: Jesus fellowshipped with sinners and appears to have enjoyed their company Jesus confronted people with their sin Jesus was very ready to forgive and to offer people a new life Jesus was willing to confront unrepentant sinners face-to-face. Some of His words sound very harsh but, rather than judge Him, we should learn from Him. Jesus warned of judgement Although Jesus is often presented as being meek and mild and accepting everyone, that is not true to the example He has left us. Although love is often defined in purely warm and accepting terms, Jesus, love embodied, was not unfailingly “nice”. He was unfailingly loving but He reveals that love must sometimes be tough and hard. Jesus mixed with tax-collectors and sinners, not to reaffirm them in their sin but to call them to a better life. A doctor does not visit patients to rejoice in their illness but to provide healing.

Imitating Jesus

It is crucially important that Christians fellowship with, and care for, LGBTQ people and are as willing to accept them as Jesus would have been. But it is also crucial that Christians follow Jesus’ example of offering good news and seeking repentance. Genuine love requires that, as Jesus demonstrates. Related pages
· · · · ·
© Peter Cheyne 2017.
A Christian’s Guide To Homosexuality
Truth In Love
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