Passages - Week 1: The Explorer

Bad Company

Day 6

“The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.” But wisdom is proved right by her actions.”Matthew 11:19

The most common criticism of Jesus was also the truth. He was a “friend of sinners.” After all, they were the ones he came to save. Rather than withdrawing from those whose sin made him uncomfortable, Jesus spent time with them. He loved them, dined with them, talked with them, and drew them to God. He was their friend.

But Jesus loved them without compromise. He was rightly accused of being a friend of sinners, but never of being one himself. He associated with wrong-doers, but did not participate in their wrong-doing.

Don’t confuse bad behavior with spiritual disinterest. You cannot discover where a person is spiritually by mere observation. You have to enter into a conversation and explore lives. If someone was to examine your life, would they say that you are a “friend of sinners?”

Thought

At times, being like Christ involves being a friend to those least like Christ.

Take a Step

Consider the people around you. Whose lifestyle makes you uncomfortable? Take a step to get to know them. Use questions to explore their spiritual background and experiences, and to determine their spiritual openness. 

Bonus

He entered Jericho and was passing through. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

 

 

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Day 5: Hide and Seek

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Day 7: Surprisingly Close

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