Sunday, March 25, 2007

Jesus Loved Sinners

Jesus Loved Sinners

Intro.: I'll be honest.

  1. My first thought when I put together this was to not do it.

  2. After all, it does not apply to me.

  3. I am not a sinner. After all, I live a pretty good life.

  4. But then I stopped dreaming I remembered something your pastor once said – "We all are broken people."

  5. Of course it was not just your pastor who said it. Paul also said something like it – only his way was bit more authoritative, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"

  6. I guess it does include me – and if Jesus loved people like me, then maybe I can learn something from how he loved sinners.

  7. Turn with me to a passage that demonstrates Jesus' love for some of the most broken people he would ever meet.

  8. It is now Friday and Jesus is on the way to Golgotha to be crucified. Turn with me to Luke 23:32-43

Read: Luke 23:32-43


Trans: Love sometimes costs.

  1. It means being available for others

  2. It means being willing to involve yourself in the lives of another.

  3. It means being willing to pay whatever it costs to show the love of Christ to another.

  4. Jesus offered love to those who were broken – even to those who did not know they were broken

T.S. I want to spend the next few minutes looking at what Jesus offered to others when he loved them.

  1. Love means forgiving – regardless of how we are hurt

    1. I expect that there were a lot of mixed emotions on Golgotha that Friday.

      1. There were those were weeping as they saw the man t hey came to love being put to death.

      2. There were others who were convinced that Jesus belonged on that cross – these were the ones who just few hours earlier had shouted those words we heard last week, "Crucify Him, Crucify Him."

      3. There were, of course the two criminals.

      4. And there some who did not care – they were there to do a job, executing three men found guilty of a crime.

      5. And there were some who had doubts – we did not read it, but in verse 47 we see a centurion who, after seeing and hearing Jesus, proclaimed, “Surely this was a righteous man.

      6. There were certainly others – but you get the picture, there was a great variety of people there that day.

    2. And to that motley crew Jesus spoke those wonderful words, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."

    3. I do not know to whom Jesus was speaking; but, if I understand Jesus at all, I expect that it was for everyone's benefit.

(Ill.) If Proctor and Gamble were to compose a devotional, it might sound like this: “Are you trying to get God to TEXIZE your problems? DUZ you DREFT along with the TIDE? VEL, you can CHEER up and have real JOY. The DOVE of peace is sending an S.O.S. to ALL. The TREND is to BREEZE to church regularly on Sunday morning. But, too many WOODBURY their heads in a pillow or work in the yard like HANDY ANDY, forgetting that the Lord’s Day was made for LESTOIL.

“Don’t trust your LUX or wait for us to DIAL you and remind you of those IVORY palaces up yonder. This is not just idle BAB-O. Worship will add to your LIFEBUOY, so WISK yourself out of bed Sunday morning, dress up SPIC ’N SPAN and DASH like a COMET to God’s house. You will feel as FANTASTIK as IRISH SPRING and will have new ZEST and PRIDE of conscience if you make this PLEDGE. You, too, can be MR. CLEAN.”1

But when we talk about sin, we are taking about something that cannot be cleaned with soap or detergent. Sin takes cleaning from the inside – something only Jesus Christ can do.

    1. Those words, "Father forgive them for they know what they are doing ..." were not just for the crowd that day, but they are also for us.

  1. Love means accepting – regardless of how hard it may be

    1. Forgiveness is part of love

    2. Our passage shows us another aspect as well.

    3. Here is Jesus, on a cross, hung between two thieves.

    4. And they start a conversation -

      1. "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!"

      2. But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."

      3. Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."

    5. Here is a thief ready to die – and two remarkable things happen:

      1. First, even as comes to the end of his life, he is able to recognize that Jesus is God" It is hard enough for the average person to respond to Jesus, yet this man on the cross, does just that.

      2. But there is something else. Jesus is also dying, but he takes time to respond with love toward the thief. Jesus lets him know that he will be accepted into heaven.

(Ill.) Max Lucado, in his book A Love Worth Giving, makes that same connection. He writes, "if we think that God is harsh and unfair, guess how we'll treat people. But if discover that God has doused us with unconditional, there would be a difference."2

    1. There are some people that would be really hard to accept. Habits, Friends, their past – make some people hard to get to know. But Jesus took broken people and accepted them – whether they be fisherman, tax collectors, prostitutes, or thieves.

(Appl.) I don't know who you struggle with – a neighbor, a co-worker, maybe a family member – but your know who it is. And the next time you are left feeling agitated, the next time you feel your equilibrium being challenged by that person, remember that Jesus accepts them just the way they are. Can you do any less.

Conclusion: Jesus loves sinners -

  1. He forgives them

  2. And he accepts them

  3. Let's learn to love like Jesus loved.


1John F. Anderson, Jr., Dallas Morning News, March 26, 1977. Found in Green, M. P. (1989). Illustrations for Bilical Preaching : Over 1500 sermon illustrations arranged by topic and indexed exhaustively (Revised edition of: The expositor's illustration file.). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

2Lucado, Max (2006). Grace For The Moment, Volume II. Nashville: Countryman (a Division of Thomas Nelson, Inc.).

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