And Jesus entered and passed through
. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who He was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him: for He was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house. And he made haste, and came down, and received Him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That He was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. And Zacchaeus stood and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is Salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Luke, Chapter 19, verses 1-10. Jericho
I remember hearing about a church group talking among themselves saying something about not associating with sinners. That rushed through my mind when I saw a display outside a church that said, “Sinners Welcome!” Jesus didn’t give His life to save those who are perfect. (That would mean He had given His life to save Himself since Jesus is the only perfect person. Now that doesn’t even make sense!)
Jesus died and rose to save sinners like you and me. He gave His life for those people who were judgmental of others and the people they thought were unworthy of their association. If Jesus can turn the life of Zacchaeus around who was a self-serving tax collector, then who is to say that He can’t turn around the lives of those people deemed unfit?
If no one invites or welcomes these people into church, how will they be saved? Do you want it on your shoulders that you had the opportunity to befriend one of these “undesirable” people by being an example of how God works in your life, but you ignored that responsibility because you decided that those people didn’t deserve it? Something I wouldn’t want to have to explain to God on Judgment Day!
Here is a related passage:
*And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto His disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, He said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Matthew, Chapter 9, verses 11-13.
Because this an example of how I’ve applied these Bible passages to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passages. Debbie