How Jesus Loves Sinners
The way that Jesus loves sinners is an important example we want to follow, even as we recognize how impossible that is without His love, grace, and power.
Jesus told His disciples, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13 ESV) He proved His unequaled love for sinners by laying down His own life for us.
The cross that Jesus died on was a cruel form of punishment and execution in Roman times but has become a symbol of sacrifice. Jesus transformed it.
You could call Jesus’ cross the climax of the great story God has written throughout the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Jesus’ death on the cross was the genuine blood sacrifice that all the sacrifices before it pointed to as mere pictures of the real thing. What Jesus did that no other sacrifice could ever do was to fully satisfy God’s justice and show His great mercy to us sinners at the same time.
Now we can look back to Jesus’ death on the cross and fully know that all our sins are forgiven if we believe in Him to save us from the punishment we deserve for our sins. When our faith and our hope are in Jesus alone we can rest in the fact that He presents us to God as clean, pure, and forgiven.
The accounts of Jesus’ life in the four Gospels also tell us about how Jesus loved sinners in the years before He walked the lonely road to the place of crucifixion and allowed the Romans to nail His body to the cross:
• Jesus was not isolated from sinners but allowed the crowds to crush against Him (Luke 8:40-46)
• Jesus and His disciples became physically tired from ministering among sinners (Mark 6:30-32)
• Jesus gave His time to travel to where sinners lived (Matthew 9:35)
• Jesus ate and drank with sinners (Matthew 9:11)
• Jesus received hospitality from sinners (Luke 19:5-7)
• Jesus gave hospitality to sinners (Mark 2:15)
• Jesus fed hungry people instead of sending them away to buy food themselves (Mark 6:30-44)
• Jesus touched sinners whom society considered unclean (Matthew 8:2-3; Luke 7:36-50)
• Jesus showed His compassion for sinners by healing the sick and raising the dead (Matthew 9:35; John 11:38-44)
• Jesus freed sinners from the terrible control of demons (Matthew 8:16-17)
• Jesus gave freedom to sinners who were in bondage (John 8:1-11)
• Jesus invited sinners who were weary and burdened to come to Him (Matthew 11:28-30)
• Jesus was visibly moved by sinners’ lack of guidance and direction (Matthew 9:36)
• Jesus reached out to many different cultural and language groups in “Galilee of the Gentiles” (Matthew 4:13-16)
• Jesus saw Himself as the good shepherd for sinners who would allow Him to lead them (John 10:11-18)
• Jesus gives life to sinners (John 10:10)
• Jesus forgave sinners who persecuted and killed Him (Luke 23:33-34)