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BEING A FRIEND TO THE FRIENDLESS

JUNE 15, Matthew 9:10-13

There are people who are looked down upon in society, in school, and maybe even in church! Do you know of people who always sit alone because people talk behind their backs and make fun of them? Nobody likes to be around them or be seen eating with them. In Jesus’ time, it was the tax-collectors and prostitutes. Everyone despised them because of their jobs and would stay far away from them. They must have felt very lonely. How would you like it if everyone didn’t like you and stayed far away from you?

Jesus was not like everyone else. He sat to have a meal with the tax-collectors and prostitutes. Everyone looked down on them and didn’t want to be their friends. Even though He knew that people were watching His every move and would criticise Him, Jesus still went. Why? That’s because Jesus cared for their souls. We tend to judge a person based on who he is on the outside. Yes, he may be a little different from us, but inside we are all in the same state! All of us are sick in sin! There is no exception. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, which school you attend, or what your age is. We are all sinners who are equally in need of God’s grace.

How did Jesus respond when people started to whisper behind His back? He told them that it is the sick that need a doctor, not the healthy. The only way for sin-sick souls to be healed is for Jesus to heal them. How will He do this? Jesus said He will have mercy on them. He will not punish, instead He will show kindness to the souls of men. That’s why Jesus sat with the tax-collectors and prostitutes. He came to call sinners to repentance! That’s what made Jesus go all the way to the cross to die for our sins. He came to save us!

Jesus alone is the Great Physician who can heal our souls. He doesn’t want us to be sick in sin, condemned under God’s wrath and be bound for hell. He wants us to be healed with His forgiveness and to enjoy peace with God. Jesus loves you as much as He loves the tax-collector, the prostitute, and all who are despised by men. Will you also show kindness to those around you who have no friends and are despised by others? The best way to do that is to follow Jesus’ example. Sit down with them for a meal, and share with them God’s love in your life. Will you?

Thought: I want to be a friend who cares for the souls of others.

Prayer: Father in heaven, thank you for saving my soul. Thank you for making me whole in Christ. I pray that You will use me to be a friend to the friendless, to share the good news of God’s love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.