So today the wife informed me of the protests taking place against the memorials for those lost in the Orlando shooting. We both had our words on the topic(we agree that they are in the wrong) and I have decided to make tonight’s bible study with the protests in mind. I’d like to open with a couple of questions. The first: what kind of attitude did Jesus have towards the lost? And the second: how are we instructed to behave.
If you would like, read along the passages with me (don’t take my word for it! read along for yourself and get some soul food); let us try to find the answers to these questions for ourselves. Also, don’t forget to pray first ;3
Subject A: The woman at the well
In verse 9 the Samaritan woman points out that she is such and asks Jesus,”How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria?” Then in verses 22 and 23 Jesus tells her that salvation is of the Jews but that the hour when true worshipers will worship in spirit and in truth is at hand. He also says,” the Father seeketh such to worship him.”
Jesus speaks to a woman of a lineage that the Jews had no dealings with and I believe this section is telling us that God wants us all, regardless of our race and background(she also had five husbands and was with a man who was not her husband), to come and worship him.
Here the Pharisees are curious as to why Jesus would sit and eat with sinners. Jesus explains:
“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.” (Matt 9:12-13)
Jesus came to save the lost.
Here some folks came to Jesus trying to find reason to accuse him. They bring a woman caught committing adultery and point out that the law states she should be stoned. Jesus says,”He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” Then they all leave one by one. That’s all that he is recorded to have spoken to them in this passage too! I consider that a point made.
And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. (John 8:9)
After they leave, Jesus speaks to her and tells her that he doesn’t condemn her, but he also says something else: “go, and sin no more.” A command. He doesn’t give her a hard time about her former life from what I can tell, but simply tells her to walk away from it.
What I’m seeing so far is that Jesus was compassionate to the lost. He even sought them out.
This is a reference I look up for myself often. We are instructed as servants to be patient, meek and apt to teach and this passage in particular gives a reason. We should be hopeful that sinners(regardless of how we see their own path) would turn to Jesus and that they would be granted repentance by him. We should hope that they escape “the snare of the devil.”
–1 Peter 2:15-17 (reference compliments of my dearest wifey :3)
Here we see that God wills us to silence foolish ignorance with “well doing.” The passage also tells us that we should not use our freedom maliciously and that we should “Honour all men.”
To me, it seems much better to show kindness to sinners and hope that, in seeing that kindness, they’ll want to know from where I draw water and be turned to God.
Here it is, a big one, possibly the biggest one. You all know, at least in part. Jesus tells the Pharisees what the top two commandments are. Love God-period-and the second, love thy neighbour as thyself. Jesus even states that these two are the foundation upon which the prophets and all the law stand. So before dealing with anyone, it’s good to question, “how would I want to be treated?”
It is my belief that these scriptures are pretty self-explanatory. I don’t feel the need to really do much besides just quote and discuss what’s being said. I encourage you all to pray that God bless the reading of his word and that he help you to hide his words in your heart. Below there are a few more passages listed that I think are applicable and/or helpful. I think you might find them interesting and useful!
Proverbs: 17:5, 24:17