Was Jesus a Friend of Sinners?
By James P. Shelly
“You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” (John 15:14)
We read in 1 Corinthians 15:33, “Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits.‘” The Greek word rendered “company” means, association, conversation, companionship, intercourse, or communion. We are here taught that evil companionships, or “friendships” with the ungodly, will have a destructive influence on our moral behavior. There is a direct correlation between a person’s character and the company he keeps. Few would disagree, even in the unbelieving world, that such is undoubtedly the case. It is, therefore, a common practice among loving parents to forbid their children from being friends with other children whom they think would be a bad influence. Would we expect our heavenly Father to have any less concern for His beloved children and not prohibit them from friendship with sinners? We read in Proverbs 13:20, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.” We read in 2 Corinthians 6:14, “…what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? …Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?” If Jesus was a friend and companion of sinners would He not, according to these and many other passages, be living contrary to Scripture and setting a dangerous and perilous example for his followers? Continue reading Was Jesus a Friend of Sinners?