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How Does Jesus View Sinners?

June 13, 2023

How Does Jesus View Sinners?

How Does Jesus View Sinners?

By Brooke Holt

“And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’” Matthew 9:10-11

Mothers often teach their children this adage, especially in the adolescent years: “you become like the company you keep”. Matthew’s choice of friends validates these words. As one shunned by the Jewish community in which he grew up, Matthew found a new community that supported his lifestyle of sin. When Jesus summoned Matthew to follow him. Matthew did just that. He left his tax booth and embraced Jesus’ invitation. In fact, he was so excited about this new opportunity he hosted a dinner party for Jesus. Who would he invite to such a special gathering? His community of friends.

As the Pharisees look upon this unusual dinner party, they refer to Matthew’s friends as tax collectors and sinners meaning they see these people as the dregs of society: prostitutes, adulterers, drunkards, and the like. In their minds, Matthew is hosting a party of corruption, and Jesus is reclining (the posture used then for eating) at the table with these people. Surely a religious man would know what kind of company he is keeping, wouldn’t he?

Jesus knew exactly the kind of company he was dining with that night! Just as Jesus saw past the sin in Matthew’s life and into the divine calling, so Jesus sees each sinner. Their lives are messy; exactly why he is there. Everyone has mess but only Jesus has the ultimate means of reformation and restoration.

Jesus was not and is not afraid of sin. Nor does Jesus delight in it. He wants his followers to thrive in every way. Thriving comes when one walks faithfully with him, in the power of the Holy Spirit, and into the plans God ordains for one’s life. However, Jesus also knows the best way to change a person’s life is to be present, teach the way of the Lord, live the way of the Lord, and offer God’s love and grace. That changes people.

What typically does not change people is anger and judgement. Infamous for both, the Pharisees so focused on the rules that they missed the heart of God behind the rules. The Lord’s purpose for every commandment was that his people would know him, honor him, obey him, and live abundantly in the good plans he had for them.

That is God’s plan for you today. His heart is for you to follow him, repent of the sin in your life, and embrace the calling he has for you. As John wrote, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17). In Christ, there is no condemnation but a new calling to follow him.


How do you view sin – the sin in your life and in others? How does Jesus view you and them? What do you think he wants you to know today? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Recommended Resource:

Draw Near

Let's face it, the Christian life is hard. Relationships take work. Christians forget. Sometimes it is tempting to go back to the days when God was not the center of our lives - to backslide. We are all faced with tremendous pressures to drift away from intimacy with Jesus and the community of the Church. However, the Lord invites us to pay attention, to move forward, to draw near, and to live lives of worship. Draw Near: Hebrews on Christian Worship is a small group Bible study on the Book of Hebrews intended to lead participants into a deeper intimacy with the living God in the context of New Testament worship. Draw nearer to God in authentic worship today!


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