Jesus was an equal opportunity minister. He did not limit His ministry to the temple or only those with deep pockets who would support what He was doing. Jesus did not allow the disapproval of the self righteous religious hierarchy to dissuade Him from reaching out to the lepers, prostitutes, scoundrels and others who were considered "untouchables" by the religious leaders.
As many times as records show Jesus preaching and teaching to the multitudes, there are just as many (if not more) records of Jesus ministering to a single person or a family. Jesus did not turn away people due to how they looked, how sick or poor they were or whatever scarlet letter had been placed upon them. Jesus manifested love, mercy and compassion all the time to everyone.
Every time I hear the song "Jesus, friend of sinners" by Casting Crowns, I am both blessed and reproved. For many years I allowed myself to fall into the trap of thinking I was holier than those who committed all the sins in this world. Using sections of the Bible such as Romans 1 as a defense, I became an expert at being critical of the very people I claimed I wanted to help. Subtly over time I became a hypocrite.
When self proclaimed "men or women of God" become so powerful, rich or famous that they no longer are willing to help the poor soul being crushed by the sin in their lives, they cease being who they think they are in God's eyes. True ministers are great servants who get down in the dirt to find the hand of someone buried in sin, sickness, rejection or sickness.
When people who teach and preach the Gospel for a living feel compelled to live in multimillion dollar mansions, fly private jets and feel justified to be treated as a king, they cease being profitable to God and no matter how fine their sermons sound or how many people show up each week to hear them; in God's eyes they are no better than the very people they condemn and avoid.
As I have grown older and wiser, I see just how wrong I was for many years. I now see how spiritually arrogant I had become as I refused to associate with those who needed what I had to say the most. Our job is not to rub people's noses in their sin but rather to show them there is a Savior who loved them enough to die for those sins and is willing to forgive.
Instead of pointing our self righteous and sanctimonious finger at sinners, we need to learn how to reach out with open hands and open hearts to those who sit in darkness and long for someone to love them enough to help them change. I pray we cease trying to prove to God how holy and good we are and instead prove to those who need us how compassionate and loving God is.
B2Y, may I just say that if it took the past experiences of your life to turn you into the person you are today, then I thank God for the way you were. I don't believe I know of one who has a heart for God's people the way you do.
I pray we all take the teaching in this blog to heart. I know I will.
You are exactly right on this. I know I need to open myself up more to the unfortunate people of the world around me whose outward appearance and lifestyle is not appealling in any sense of the word. Thanks for your thoughts on this. - bibleguy64
I agree with the comments which have been made in regards to your blog, B2Y.
This seems to be a common tactic of the enemy in regards to Christians. Spiritual pride. Unfortunately this is often something we cannot see in ourselves. We think it is everyone else who has the issue. We think it is our job to "save" or "enlighten" everyone else and when we do, the door to spiritual pride swings wide open. This is different than being a witness, for in our hearts, though we may not say it, we have placed ourselves in the position of "savior" and that position belongs to Christ and Christ alone.
I am thankful for the mercy of God, B2Y. I am thankful that despite our pride, He loves us enough that He is willing to allow us to be "hurt" sometimes so that the cancer of pride can be cut out of us.
Thank You for those words, I pray that God's love be in you always so you can keep sharing these experiences with us, How lovely is our God that can turn anything into ammo for His glory Amen. http://christianblog.com/ce89