Imagine Jesus seeing people with issues and running in the other direction. Imagine Jesus pointing out everyone’s sin and ridiculing them for problems which they struggle with on a daily basis. Imagine Jesus looking a person in the face, or, better yet, calling them on the phone, and telling them he couldn’t associate with them because their issue was “to real” for Him to handle. As Christians we know Jesus would never do this to anyone yet I fear we, as His followers, do it consistently to people looking for answers and searching for hope.
This past weekend various versions of the scenario I painted above happened to two people I am friends with. Just like me these two individuals have had their share of issues but unlike me they are frequently judged and called out for their struggle because it is uncomfortable and un-relatable for many people.
A member of their own family who claims to be a Christian said they would not associate with one of my friends if the other party was also present. Their reasoning; it makes their issue “to real”. Suddenly, in one instant the efforts of many to show the love of Jesus to my friends seemed to be quickly swept away by such an ignorant and judgmental position on a deep and complex issue.
How is it that we so easily forget the sins that have been, and still are a part of our own lives and yet so willingly prioritize and judge the sins of others that we cannot relate to? Where we not saved by the same Jesus who offers salvation to everyone? Where we not called to love regardless of the person and their issues realizing we ourself have flaws?
Jesus not only associated with sinners and the “rejects” of society He sought them out and offered them love and help they couldn’t find anywhere else. We have no reason to believe everyone Jesus talked chose to follow Him but we do know that Love was shown in all circumstances and at all costs even to the point that He would willingly lay down his life for the very people who had put him there.
As Christians we must always show the same hope and love to the world around us that Jesus showed to the people in His. The moment we feel good enough to judge and disenfranchise ourselves with sinners the moment we have forgotten what being a follower of Jesus is all about.