Saturday, March 10, 2007

Jesus hung out with...

I've gotten some comments in an earlier post that bring up some good thinking.
Are there certain people we are not to associate with?
I read about Jesus and looked at all the people He talked to and spent time with. Whether it was adulteresses or Pharisees, demon-possessed lunatics or fishermen, it didn't seem to matter.
We are supposed to follow Jesus. If someone came to Him and needed healing, did He do it? Did He go out of His way to find those people?
Who did He include?
Who should we include?

9 comments:

Pablo said...

Seems to me Jesus had very little use for the self-righteous. He embraced everyone who wanted the truth.

Roland said...

True, Pablo. But He still tried to get them to come and embrace the truth. Even when they didn't, He still reached out to them. (sometimes He sounded harsh to those who were self-righteous, but it was in an effort to bring them near, check out Nicodemus as an example)

eaglewood said...

Nicodemus was not like his self-righteous brethren. He was a seeker of the truth unlike the other Pharisees who were seeking to keep a hold of what power Rome would let them have. He is a bad example in this case. If you can call calling someone a whitewashed tomb or a viper bringing someone near you are better than I.

There are a number of verses in proverbs telling us not to consort with fools and nuggets of truth about bad character destroying good morals.

I think that we need to be careful about who we choose to make our friends as these are the people who influence us. That is not to say that we are not to reach out to those in need of Him, only a warning that it is easier for someone to pull you down than it is for you to lift them up.

Wonder Woman said...

Anyone.

Arielle said...

The people Yeshua hung out with were sinners, yes, but sinners that were willing to repent and to change. And trying to get someone to recognize and accept the truth is not the same thing as fellowshipping with someone.

Roland said...

"I think that we need to be careful about who we choose to make our friends as these are the people who influence us."

Yes.
There are those that will not even want to be included. Those that sin. Enemies.
In the end, whose influence is stronger, theirs (and at one time ours) or God's? No brainer.
We are to reach out to our enemies. Would you not agree? And God is big enough to supply us in our work. Would you not agree?
We need to be strengthened by those of good faith. But that is different than reaching out and helping others. Or do you just do things for those you know will 'respond'? Jesus gave to all. He didn't give up on anyone, and allowed them to leave if they wanted.
He is THE best example we have.
He asked us to follow.
He gave to His enemies. I know I was one of those. Who wasn't?

"The people Yeshua hung out with were sinners, yes, but sinners that were willing to repent and to change."

Ah yes. Judas. Where did he fit in?

MikeT said...

There's a simple rule. You don't allow wolves in sheep's clothing into the flock. Some people like me are in essence tamed wolves, not sheep. That's one thing, but it's quite another to allow those who are quite obviously the wolves that we are warned about to enter the flock. It's one thing to allow any repentant sinner to come into the flock for help. It's a whole different issue to allow someone who is clearly unrepentant about anything to come in and mingle uncontrolled with the more impressionable members of the congregation. Disaster tends to follow that.

Morgan said...

It's pretty impossible to avoid people who sin, or to avoid associating with them. If that's our criteria we'll have to find a way not to hang out with ourselves. Being good, or godly, is a process of evolution. Works in progress aren't perfect and continue to have flaws. The ones I prefer to stay away from are the ones who spread the spackle of self-righteous rhetoric over those flaws and then surround themselves with people who comment on the smooth surface even though they know the gap under the spackle exists. It's easier than admitting the flaws are still there, or that they existed at all. But underneath the foundation is rotten and others can see that.

When it falls, as was the case with Jim Bakker, Swaggert and other self-professed "men of God" then they are finally forced to face it. But along the way, the damage has been done and they have effectively killed the faith of anyone who ever believed and trusted them. I've always maintained the hypocritical Christians do far more damage to the body of Christ than overt sinners do. I believe this is why, as Pablo said, Jesus had so little use for the self-righteous.

Luke said...

The people Yeshua hung out with were sinners, yes, but sinners that were willing to repent and to change. And trying to get someone to recognize and accept the truth is not the same thing as fellowshipping with someone.

What Arielle said. Jesus came seeking lost sheep, but he didn't get all chummy with the ones who wanted to STAY lost. There's a difference between sharing the gospel to a drunk and hitting the bars with him.

And this IS the Perfect Son of God we're talking about, here. YOU try walking on water sometime. ;-) My point is, we are to strive to emulate Christ, but in the ways we were taught by Christ Himself to do so. Christ actually taught us to shun certain people (see Matthew 18).

We're not like Jesus. Not even close. Scripture tells us to choose our friends with care, and avoid bad companions. Why does the Bible warn against them? It's not because we're too good to pal around with certain kinds of people, but because we're not good enough.

This wicked world needs Christians. But we mustn't forget that we are called to be in the world, but never of it. Too many Christians use the excuse of "witnessing to my unsaved friends" to keep one foot in the world.