Luke 7 makes for a good study of how Jesus treated lost people. In vs. 34 the Lord sites some of the charges spoken against him. The basis for such criticism was his association with people who were “sinners,” being outside the inner sanctum of pharisaic fellowship. Jesus was neither a glutton nor a social drinker. Jesus did, however, associate with sinful humanity (Matt. 9:11; Lk. 19:7).
Why did Simon invite Jesus into his house? Perhaps, in true pharisaic style, he wished to scrutinize the character and claims of Jesus (Lk. 7:16, 39). Why did the Lord accept the invitation to dine at Simon’s house? The Lord never stood aloof from any class of persons (Lk. 5:29-30; 10:38-42; 14:1). He desired every opportunity to seek and save the lost – even this woman of a notoriously bad reputation (Lk. 19:10).
Jesus Treated the Lost with Compassion
Compassion does not excuse sin. Jesus noted, “her sins, which are many” (Lk. 7:47). Those who condemned Jesus knew that he loved the sinner (Vs. 34). The word “friend” is from philos, one of the Greek words for love, meaning “loved, dear, friendly.” It denotes that which one loves (Jas. 2:23; 4:4). Jesus had compassion for the penitent sinner. The woman came because she sensed her own sinfulness (Vss. 37-38). Simon, however, was well aware of her sins, but not his own!
Jesus Treated the Lost with Hope for a Better Tomorrow
Jesus dismissed the woman with peace (Lk. 7:50). Peace of heart and mind had been missing from her life. She was given a fresh start. Note the way Jesus treated the woman taken in adultery (Jn. 8). Jesus did not say, “I can’t be in the company of such sinners!” He raised her expectations for herself when he said, “Go and sin no more” (Vs. 11). She did not have to live an adulterous lifestyle. To the homosexual Jesus would say, “Go and sin no more.” To the pedophile he would say, “Go and sin no more.” To the divorced he would say, “Go and sin no more.” To the abuser…
Jesus Treated the Lost with Interest for Their Souls
In three parables God’s attitude toward the lost is revealed (Lk. 15:1-2). God is the shepherd looking for the lost sheep (Vss. 4-7). God is the woman looking for a lost coin (Vss. 8-10). God is the father wishing to reclaim both sons (Vss. 11-32).
What lessons might we learn? Maybe we should ask ourselves some questions. Namely, “Am I aware of the enormity of my own sin?” “Am I aware of the wonder of being forgiven of my sins?” “Having been forgiven much, do I love much?”
The final word from Jesus about lost people was, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel” (Mk. 16:15). To whom? Certain ones, privileged classes of the right skin color and ethnicity? No. All men. The faith that restored the sinful woman will also save us – an obedient faith!
by Dennis Gulledge