As His ministry became more well-known, Jesus became more popular among the social outcasts. Why? Because He wasn’t concerned about maintaining His squeaky clean image, or only being seen with the right people. Jesus went where the need was. So here we find Jesus at a large banquet made up of every kind of questionable personality and reputation. But He looked beyond the person and saw their potential… and wasn’t afraid to go where they lived. You won’t find the healthy in the hospital…you’ll only find the sick. Just as you won’t find most lost sitting in the pews on Sunday. As Christians, we need to be willing, just like Jesus, to go where the need is.
To quote I John 3:13, “Don’t be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you.” And we shouldn’t as evil abounds in the world and the boundaries between right and wrong become blurred. We shouldn’t be surprised when our Christian walk is met with opposition…or we are attacked for trying to do what’s right…or we are accused of not being “politically correct and inclusive” in our thinking. Those who repay evil for good will always be around, so don’t be surprised…for it’s your reaction to hatred that really counts. Jesus encountered many haters and those who disagreed with Him…but Jesus chose to never be disagreeable or nasty back.
In one breath the Lord admonishes us to hate evil, in the next, He teaches us to love one another and to love our neighbor as our self. So how can we love someone who’s immoral and unethical behavior goes against everything Godly we stand for? Or how can we show love and compassion to someone who flippantly thumbs their nose at God? It’s all about separating the sin from the sinner. We are to hate the sin but love the sinner. We can abhor the sin, but still show true affection…we can detest what’s happened to the person, but still remain devoted in friendship…we can loathe the mess they’ve gotten themselves into, but still love the person we know. By hating the sin and not the sinner, we show the true love of Jesus Christ and the truth of the Gospel.