One of the reasons why Jesus was so unique had to do with how he treated people. Unlike the religious leaders of His day, Jesus didn’t look down on anyone. He was accessible and available to everybody because He knew that everybody mattered. In short, Jesus believed that every person was a valuable person.
Jesus is a friend of sinners
Jesus spent so much time with people on the fringes of society that people with power and influence mocked him for it, calling him a “friend of sinners” Luke 7.34 ESV. While He didn’t compromise His own standards or offer approval of others’ actions, Jesus continued to show up and show that He cared.
Jesus’ choice of friends wasn’t accidental; it was part of His mission. In response to His critics, Jesus said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor – sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent” Luke 5.31-32 NLT.
To emphasize His point, He frequently took His disciples to out-of-the-way places to meet with marginalized people. Everybody mattered to Jesus, and no one was off-limits from the touch of God’s grace. If people wouldn’t come to Him, then He would go to them.
Join Jesus as a friend of sinners.
You, too, can join Jesus as a friend of sinners. When you’re convinced that every person matters to God, you will begin to see that people around you differently. Instead, of giving up on someone and thinking that God can’t reach him, you’ll keep praying and investing in the relationship, and looking for creative ways to share about God’s love.
In John 4.35 NLT, Jesus tells His disciples to “wake up and look around.” Why? “The fields are already ripe for harvest.” There are people all around you who are ready to hear and respond to the gospel. You just have to wake up and look around.
Ask God to open your eyes. Think about the people that God has placed in your life. Which of them don’t know about Jesus? Which of them seem like they couldn’t care less about God? Your job is to be their friend. Strike up conversations with them. Spend time with them. Listen to their stories. Empathize with their struggles. Don’t compromise your standards; just allow your joy in Jesus to shine through in your interactions.
It might be a little challenging or uncomfortable when you allow God to use you in this way, but that’s where growth happens. When you step out of your comfort zone and ask God to show up, you’ll discover His strength working through you to make a difference with the people around you.
This post originally appeared at: Jesus Believed That Every Person Is Valuable – discipleFIRST