Jesus, Friend of Sinners

“Jesus, friend of sinners, we have strayed so far away
We cut down people in your name but the sword was never ours to swing
Jesus, friend of sinners, the truth’s become so hard to see
The world is on their way to You but they’re tripping over me
Always looking around but never looking up I’m so double minded
A plank eyed saint with dirty hands and a heart divided
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners
Open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks yours.” ~Jesus friend of sinners by Casting Crowns

This morning Abba led me to the gospel of Luke chapter 7. The passage begins with Jesus healing the Centurion’s servant, raising a widow’s dead son back to life, responding to John the Baptist’s disciples question on whether He was the Messiah, and finally ending with a narrative of what happened when the woman anointed His feet with her tears.

The Woman

Many times, we are told this woman’s story as the woman with the Alabaster box. Some scholars have pointed to her being a known prostitute. Scriptures reveal her act as one that was significant of the Master’s impending burial (Matthew 16:13, Mark 14:8). In fact, I have discovered that her story is located in all four gospels. Something that is rare to witness. Many times, one story is found ONLY in the synoptic gospels. Rarely will one story (or a mention of it) be found in all four gospels. This story of this woman happens to be one such exception. (Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; Luke 7:36-49, John 11:2).

We know the story, Jesus was invited to dinner by a Pharisee and in comes this woman who chose that opportunity to wash His feet with her tears and anoint them with the ointment from her flask.

The folks there griped and grumbled at her presence. They no doubt pondered how Jesus could possibly be a prophet for allowing her to even touch Him. “Gross”, they thought.

Jesus responded to them as only He could. He raised a story to them about a moneylender who had forgiven two debtors by erasing their debts; one for five hundred denaris and the other fifty. At the end of His story, He posed the question of which debtor would love the moneylender more. The response was, the one who owed more.

Jesus – always the one who gives us practical examples that challenge our way of thinking.

The Sinner

If you have been around for a while, you will know that I am a single mom of a teenager who turns 18 this year. Wow, where did the time go? I was literally born and raised in church that I attended every week. I had a knack for studying and reciting scripture (hearer but not a doer).

I began attending school at the age of 2 and at age 15, graduated high school. During those formative years, the institutions I attended were faith-based; one an Adventist, from age 2 through age 9. The other from ages 9 through 15 was a Catholic school. In each institution I was exposed to things of God.

I also grew up in a traditionally Christian home and was first baptized in a Pentecostal church. For all intents and purposes, I was a good Christian girl on display. Deep down however, I was far from that. I was pious to the core. No better than the Pharisees in the story listed above.

At age 13, I committed fornication (the biggest sin of my day then and even now per church folks) and ended up pregnant with my son. The shame brought to my parents, especially my dad was overwhelming. I can recall there being only one leader in my church at the time which looked at me with compassion. Several members jeered and criticized my family. I was whisked to America to have my son to hide the stigma that comes with having a child outside wedlock, especially with me being a teenager. I remember when I returned to my home in Jamaica; baby born and outside of utero, I felt ashamed to tell anyone I had left for several months to complete my pregnancy overseas. Having gone back to school, I would pretend like I was an average student. Embracing motherhood and seeing my son as a gift took many years to accept.

As I read the story of this woman this morning, the word used to describe her was a sinner. Not a teenage mom. Not a harlot. Not a murderer. Not an adulterer. Not a liar. Not a thief. Not a gossiper. Not an unbeliever. Plain and simple, she was a sinner.

I meditated on this word and wondered why this was used to describe her. This led to me researching just who she was. One theologian explained that she was a woman of a bad reputation. Her character was tainted and she was known in the community as being unwholesome, ungodly, messy. That woman, friends, was just like me. (Oh how nice it is to relate to someone in the Bible who was not perfect 🙌🏽).

As I reflected on her life even more, I realized that when she knelt by Jesus’ feet, He could have treated her unkindly. In fact, He could have felt such shame for His hosts that He could have told her to meet Him in a private location to do what she needed to do. He could have told her to not show up and hide herself in an undisclosed location. He could have ignored her entirely and not even spoken to her – but He did – twice. He could have looked at her with shame and condemnation.

He however, did none of the above.

Jesus looked at her with compassion, welcomed her acts of service, validated who she was in front of the “church people” and spoke life into her. Jesus, became her friend.

Conclusion

How many times have we been like these Pharisees? Quick to judge and condemn others because their lifestyles do not match up to our pristine ones. How many times do we hear various news report of someone who committed a crime and the first thing that leaves our mouths are condemnatory statements? They deserve the death penalty! Give them life in prison! Repay them for the evil they have done! They deserve the fullest punishment the law can render!

Whew! Help us Lord.

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you (us). But you (we) were washed, you (we) were sanctified, you (we) were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians‬ ‭6:9-11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Hear me out, I am not here to condone any sin. Our Savior does not. Remember the woman who was brought to Him accused of adultery. He told her, “…neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.” (John 8:11). I am simply here to remind us that just as our Savior was a friend of sinners, we should be willing to love others whose sin do not look the same as ours; for bottom line; we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We all needed to receive Christ’s forgiveness at some point, and still need His forgiveness daily.

As the world is on their way to Jesus, let us not be planked eyed saints. Let us not stand in any one’s way as they make their way to the cross. Not everyone is at our level of faith. We ourselves have not even arrived to the level of complete maturity or perfection.

“And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”” Luke‬ ‭7:23‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Until next time, I love you friend, and so does Jesus too. ❤️

73 thoughts on “Jesus, Friend of Sinners

  1. “Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.”
    ‭‭Luke‬ ‭7:47‬ ‭KJV‬‬

    I don’t judge you 🙂 if anything our testimonies make me think highly of you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Deandra, this is so good. I told one of my kids this morning, “The more you know someone’s story, the easier it is to show grace and mercy. The more you know about them, the easier it is to understand where they are coming from and why they struggle with a certain sin. Can you imagine how much grace and mercy God has with us … He knows the whole of us, intimately and completely!” Your post reminds me of that. (and I am not condoning sin, either 🙂 )

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yesssssss!!!! When we show our scars to each other, I believe there should be some healing. When we see other people’s scars are recall how our Daddy cleaned us up, anointed our wounds, gave us good bandage, we shouldn’t help but loving on those who are bruised, hurting or have scars themselves. ❤️🤗

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks sis for reminding us not to become pious in our faith. We are all sinners who need the blood of Jesus. We have different struggles but we all need Jesus. We also must be careful not to cause others on the way to Jesus not to stumble as you mentioned. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A wonderful and powerful message.
    A beautiful reminder to be humble, to remember that we are no better than others ( something that we tend to always lean towards thinking ). He is a God of mercy, forgiveness and love and we all need Him.
    Thank you for sharing 😊💙.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. As a former addict I can attest to the fact that as we face our sin head on and see that Jesus loves us more than we know it changes us; humbles us; brings us to a place of complete surrender to Him. For that I will forever be thankful. I pity those caught up in thinking that they are without flaw. They are truly decieved.

    Thank you for your revealing your heart dear sister. I understand you much better now and have even a deeper respect for you! This is explains your humility and how much I hear Jesus in your writings. Thank you.

    Blessings and love,
    Homer

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I once heard the definition of a Christian as being one beggar telling another where they can get bread 🤗

      This comes to mind whenever I think of those who are humble not of themselves, but because Jesus lives on the inside of them. Folks who you connect with because they aren’t ashamed to show their battle scars. To share where they’ve been and how Abba has rescued them.

      This my fellow sojourner, is who you remind me of. I am so thankful that He broke you as hard and painful as it was. The anointing that oozes forth as a result, is life changing for all who come in contact with you.

      Let us continue to raise the blood stained banner high. Let us continue to fight the good fight of faith.

      My love to you and Wanda always.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I LOVE that song – “Jesus, Friend of Sinners.”! It has a special meaning to me, as it came out about the time my daughter and I attended a “pride” parade for the first time. With a group of Christian brothers and sisters, we were there to share the love of Jesus with the LBGT community. I was a little nervous, not knowing what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. With tears in their eyes they hugged us and thanked us for coming, took pictures of us with our signs (Mine said “Ask me about the REAL Jesus – the One who loves you.”), and took “selfies” with us. We just planted seeds that day, but someday we may see what became of them.
    (“People don’t care what you know until they know that you care.”)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yesssssss!! That is so true. I’m so glad you all went on their turf to show grace and compassion. They already know where we stand with our faith where their lifestyle is concerned so they have a sort of defense up. When we go in though showing Jesus’ grace, His love, His mercy and compassion. I believe it makes such a difference. Your response reminded me of a book by Rosario Butterfield entitled, “The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert.”

      May the Lord help us to care first, then “speak” secondly. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hey, D. Happy new year to you!!!! And I have missed you. 😀

    Your story is the story of ALL of us. We just have to insert the nomenclature of our ’13-year-old’ (plus younger and older) sins and we’ll be in good company with each other. But that’s the beautiful thing about our Saviour: ALL those sins, He carried on Himself to the cross and dragged them to the grave and left them there, rising victoriously just to live His life through us. None of the good we do can even be on our badges, they’re all HIM! So here’s a hug for you and that soon to be 18-year-old chap. He is one blessed fella.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tosin!!
      Happy New Year!!
      As I read this post would you believe I actually heard you talking. I heard your voice and I felt the tenderness in your voice.
      I certainly have missed you too. We are kindred spirits indeed.

      I like what you said. Once we see where we’ve been, we can have so much in common – we needed Christ to deliver us then, and sure enough, we need Him every single day.

      Thank You Jesus for Your blood that was shed. Not just any cow, goat or sheep – the precious blood of the Lamb! Hallelujah.

      Yes, Zachery is certainly one blessed boy. The Lord continues to remind me that He will remember him always.

      How are you sweet sister?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love that name 😍😍😍😍 Zachery. Bless him! In this moment, I pray for him, to always find his identity in the One who gave ALL for him.

        I’m doing well, sis. It seems like a lot on my plate this year, but it’s a good feeling. I will finish the book I have been working on for 10 years, I hope to be able to play some reasonable piano so I have started learning. I’m taking up photography and trying to grow my MC skills. A LOT! But when all these are accomplished, it’ll only hammer in the point that God does the impossible.

        How’s mum?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you for praying for my boy. You have made this momma’s heart rejoice. Just this morning as I laid him before Abba I asked him to show him that security can only be found in the Lord, and here you confirm the same. May the Lord continually reveal to our children that only in Him can we be defined and find our purpose. By the way, do you have any babies on your end that I can circle in prayers as well?

          Girl, just reading your response gave me the sense of busyness and lots of activity. Whew! Congrats on the closure of the book. Please let me know when done so that I can extend support to you. I’d like a signed copy please lol. As for the rest of flurries, may the Lord grant you discipline and wisdom and creativity. May He give you eyes to see and capture all is needed, fingers to play sweet melody and a mind that will reveal His glory.

          Mum’s doing better, praise the Lord. Every now and again she shares that she has aches and pains in her knees but where she is now, is not where she was then, Hallelujah!!

          Like

          1. The grateful heart is made whole! God will finish what He has started in mum, as we thank Him for what He has already done. 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾

            😄😄😄 I can imagine how you can be overwhelmed by just reading what I wrote 😂. Amen to your prayers, my dear sister. I believe that as I follow His leading, he’ll get me right on to the exact things He wants me to accomplish. I trust Him.

            I have a daughter who’ll be 5 in July and a son who’ll be 3 next Tuesday. I’ve written about them a number of times, but I call them Drama Queen and Bumblebee over here. We’re in the stage of sowing the right seeds in their hearts and trust God to raise them up to love Him even more than we do. Ignoring the world’s standards and staying true to the Word. They’re my full-time job. I’d appreciate your prayers for them too.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Oh yes yes yes yes. I will be praying for Drama Queen and Bumblebee.

              I love your stance, Tosin. Deuteronomy 6:7 comes to mind as I read the mission of your full time job. Ages 3 and 5 are such a beautiful and moldable age. May Abba certainly fill you with creative juices as you pour into their impressionable minds.

              Love love love to you ❤️

              Like

  8. Great post, Precious. Your testimony is powerful and I know it resonates with all of us. As the bible says, we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Similar to everything else, humans put a stigma on everything. We stigmatised diseases, color of your skin and even sin. But God sees all of us as equal and so He died for all of us equally. Thank you for sharing these powerful words.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amen Beverly! I’m so grateful He doesn’t stigmatize us. His love is abounding, His eternal, far reaching, bountiful, eternal. Hallelujah for a love like His. Thanks for leaving your heart print today ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hearing just your title alone Jesus friend of sinners, and the magnitude of that statement is truly humbling for me. I thank you for sharing your testimony and showing in your blog just how much Jesus loved people. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh thank you for reading, beloved. I’m so happy to hear you were inspired by our Lord and how much He truly loves us. It certainly is humbling knowing the King of the Universe loves us unconditionally. May we never forget this, and know that there is absolutely nothing that can separate us from His love. Blessings to you this night 🙏🏽

      Like

  10. Wow! I love this ❤️.
    This is a very great post. I’m happy to be on your blog❤️

    I love motivational and inspiring blogs and that’s what mine is based on.

    I’m following this blog and making sure I don’t miss any post. 😊.
    You can check out mine also, in case you’d like it😃💐

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Vincent, welcome!
      It’s so great to have you stop by and even follow along. Thank you for reading and commenting. I pray the Lord will bless you and speak to you in a remarkable way. I will be checking your blog out soon.

      Blessings always 🙏🏽

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey there, you’re very welcome, thank you for stopping by and reading. Absolutely! That’s a beautiful summary of the lessons from that story. I’m thankful for His covering, His mercy and forgiveness.

      Liked by 1 person

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