He Ate with Publicans and Sinners (Part 2)

Jesus did not associate with publicans, sinners, harlots, and Samaritans to engage in their sinful practices. Jesus was the sinless Lamb of God (1 Peter 1:19). He never once committed a sin nor even spoke an inappropriate word (1 Peter 2:22). Second, it should also be clear that Jesus did not associate with these people in order to legitimize their sin. Jesus called upon these people to repent (Matthew 9:13).  He taught them that they needed to give up their sin and give their life to God (Luke 15:1-32). Third, it should also be clear that Jesus did not associate with these people to aid them to further commit sin. When the woman taken in adultery was brought before Jesus (John 8:2-11), He did not condemn her to death; however, Jesus told her to “go, and sin no more.” His refusal to condemn the woman to death was not license for her to continue to commit adultery.


Jesus did associate with these people in order to teach and preach the gospel (Matthew 21:28-32).  What ought we to conclude from Jesus’ association with these classes of society?  First, we need to be out associating with those classes of society as well for the same purpose.  As Christians, we need to be in the world, but not of the world (1 Cor.5:10).  What does this mean?  It means that we associate with people who are steeped in sin, but we don’t participate in that sin.  If we were to stop all association with anyone who had sin in their lives, then we would have to go “out of the world.”  While such may be possible (that is, to practice some bizarre type of isolationism); it is certainly not feasible.


God bless you, and I love you.


Kevin Cauley