Vol.XI No.XI Pg.1
January 1975

He Loves Even Me

Robert F. Turner

How may one, who is pure, relate to sin, and the sinner? Light has no fellowship with darkness — Come ye out from among them... saith the Lord (2 Cor. 6:14-18). Yet, Jesus Christ, the purest of pure, lived no monastic life. The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners! But wisdom is justified of all her children (Lu. 7:34-35).

Space will not permit discussion of the many examples of Jesus association with sinners, but we urge you to read: Lu. 7:36-50; 15:2-32; 19:1-10 and Jn. 8:3-11; then think with us.

First, we should realize that much Jesus criticism came from people who judged themselves righteous on a basis of externals I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess (Lu. 18:10-14). The fault is compounded when we judge ourselves sounded because we oppose something. Such prejudicial and superficial judgment makes it easy to classify all tax collectors (etc.) as sinners, rather than fairly deal with each one.

But the universal lesson in all of Jesus dealing with sinners— and the ever-present contrast of his attitude with that of the Pharisees— was his genuine concern for them. Like a parent whose child has contracted some loathsome disease, he could shrink from the foul contamination even as he reached lovingly for the victim.

Jesus rejected the idea of defilement via touch (Mk. 7:14-23); insisting we keep a pure heart as protection against corruption. He shrank not from the woman of bad reputation, when she evinced repentance and came to him for understanding. He could not allow a sulky elder brother to dampen the joy in heaven over a sinner that repents. He went to Zaccheus house for the same reason a fisherman goes to water. He sought the lost— where they were. He told the adulterous woman, Go, and sin no more.

We may dismiss our Lords compassion as a divine attribute, unreal. Failing to appreciate his motives, we may even excuse (?) our vile life by his pure examples. But we will not be Christ like until we learn this love.