Sinners, tax collectors, prostitutes and Jesus were having a party. It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke but it was actually how Jesus chose to spend His time on earth, surrounded by sinners. He was known as a friend of sinners.
Jesus knew His mission. He came to seek and save that which was lost. He came to heal the sick and make righteous the sinner. The way He accomplished that goal was to love the sinner. When I say love, I mean truly love. Not a make them your project type of love. I mean a “sit down, tell me about your life with no judgement, let’s share meals together”, type of love. I mean a love that “looks beyond where you are and sees who God has called you to be” type of love. An “I’m willing to lay down my life so sin no longer is your master” type of love. Jesus loved each of us into the kingdom.
Now that we have become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, let us do what Jesus did. Let us love those who are lost. Let us love those who are hurting. Let us love those who are dripping in their sin. Let us love them into the kingdom. Jesus is our model.
When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they said to His disciples, “Why is He eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners?” And hearing this, Jesus said to them, ” It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:16-17 NASB)