If you study the life of Jesus, you’ll find He never really came down hard on sinners. In fact, with those that acknowledged their weakness, Jesus was always loving and compassionate.
Jesus Did Not Come to Condemn Sinners
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:17 NIV
I think a lot of people avoid God because they feel guilty for bad things they’ve done in their lives. They feel they are unworthy or that they will be harshly judged.
If you study the New Testament much at all, it is pretty apparent that God wants, above all else, to forgive and restore us. He sent Jesus to save us not to condemn us.
There are numerous examples of this in the Bible:
- How Jesus handles the woman caught in adultery.
- Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well.
- The story Jesus told about the Prodigal Son.
In each of these examples, Jesus demonstrates God’s love for everyone. He shows the extravagance of God’s mercy and forgiveness.
What Seems to Really Bother God
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. Matthew 23:27 NIV
Jesus was the harshest to those that put on a good act, but in their hearts were merciless and unforgiving. He makes it crystal clear in the Parable of the Pharisee and Tax Collector that God values a humble and repentant heart above all else.
This is good news if you are a sinner like me!
God isn’t going to pound you on the head with a heavenly hammer for bad behavior. But, He does get impatient with those that are self-righteous.
The Bible tells us that ALL have sinned and fallen short of God’s standard (Rom 3:23). Therefore, none of us have any room to boast. We are all in the same boat. So, no matter how bad you think you are, God still has a place for you at His table.
Jesus Came to Save
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst.
1 Timothy 1:15 NIV
It is easy to look around and start thinking, “I’m not so bad. Look at what they’re doing.” This is self-righteousness creeping in.
I want to copy Jesus by loving and forgiving sinners and I pray, God, that you will help me to always remember that I am one of the worst.