Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

The Friend of All Friends

MATTHEW 11:19 – The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”

Let’s take a moment to ponder and rejoice over some of the titles and roles the Lord Jesus is to us. He is our Good Shepherd leading us to spiritual contentment. He is our Ruling King committing Himself to our protection. He is our Teaching Prophet willing to guide us into His truth. He is our High Priest constantly interceding for us. He is our Redeemer God releasing us from the bondages of sin and Satan. And there are many more, but have we thought much recently about what He is as revealed in today’s scripture–a friend of sinners? Here is an insightful commentary on Jesus being labeled ‘a friend of sinners’ from the prince of preachers–Charles Spurgeon . . . “The enemies of our Lord Jesus desired to brand him with infamy, hold him up to derision, and hand his name down to everlasting scorn through their words about him here. Their scandalous charges increased Jesus’ reputation. To this day the Savior is adored by the title that was coined as a slur–(friend of sinners). It was designed to be a stigma that every good man would shudder at and shrink from, but it has proven to be a fascination that wins the heart and enchants the soul of the godly. Saints in heaven and saints on earth delight to sing of him as the friend of sinners, which means he is a friend of us all.”

Think about this. Not for a passing mindless second. Jesus Christ, very God, ruler of the universe, Creator of all things, willingly embraces the label “Friend of Sinners.” He is not ashamed of such title. He welcomes such title. And oh, are we not so glad? We, deserving nothing from God but His wrath, are awakened by His Spirit to see the Son of God be the Friend of hell-bound sinners. What a friend we have in Jesus as the old hymn goes! But there is something else to be considered when seeing Jesus as a friend of sinners. Something we need to seriously consider in our walks with Him in a world desperately needing this friend of sinners. And here is the consideration . . . are we known; do we have the reputation of being a friend of sinners? Sinners in our neighborhoods, sinners in our workplaces, even sinners in our families? Or do we have the reputation of being a harsh, religious zealot trying to “argue” people to Christ? Or maybe the reputation of being isolated from the world of sinners showing no love in serving sinners, loving sinners, engaging sinners, not compromising with them, but being Jesus to them? I am not sure anything is more affirming to a Christian than to have a reputation in the world of modeling Christ by being a friend of sinners. May God help us to be such in a world who needs to know the best friend a person will ever have–Jesus, the friend of all friends to all sinners.

PRAYER: “Father, I praise You for Your Son, not in giving Him as my Savior, but my Friend.”
QUOTE: “As Jesus was called ‘A friend of sinners’ by sinners, are we able to be called that as well?”

Because of Him,
Pastor Jim