What Does It Mean That Christ Is a Friend to Sinners?

I love this audio devotional from the excellent book Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund. When I really love a book, I tend to either read it quickly or slowly. In the case of this book, I read it very slowly and spent multiple days reading some of the chapters because I found it so rich and nourishing and worthy of contemplation. Nanci also read it in the last year before she went to live with Jesus. I would highly recommend this book to any follower of Christ. Listen to this excerpt:

Read the Gospels, and it’s evident many sinners loved being around Jesus. They enjoyed His company, sought Him out, invited Him to their homes and parties. Unbelievers tore off the roof to get to Jesus. Why is that? What did Jesus show them? Grace. People sensed that Jesus loved them, even when He spoke difficult words. He was full of grace and truth. He drew them out of the night like a light draws moths.

No, Jesus didn’t minimize the truth of human sin; in fact, through His redemptive work, He paid the price for us because of His desire to be our Father and friend. That Jesus truly is and wants to be our friend is still a revolutionary concept to many Christians. If we believe it, we understand how Jesus’ disciples must have felt when He said, “No longer do I call you servants . . . but I have called you friends” (John 15:15).

Dwight L. Moody said, “A rule I have had for years is: to treat the Lord Jesus Christ as a personal friend. His is not a creed, a mere doctrine, but it is He Himself we have.”

Like Moody, I encourage you to think of Jesus as your mentor and best friend, as well as Savior and Lord. Your relationship with Jesus grows as you spend time with Him—as you talk and listen to Him. He truly is a friend of any sinner who will come near to Him.

See Randy's books It's All About Jesus and Face to Face with Jesus.

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Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries