Luke 7:20,22-23 When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?’” … So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.”
Luke 7:31-35 “To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other: “‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not cry.’ For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by all her children.”
Jesus loves everyone, but He did not buddy up to “religious” people—at least those who thought they knew how God behaves, what He likes, and what He hates. They struggled with the people Jesus hung around. The question we must ask ourselves is: What Kind of People Does Jesus Befriend? From the several verses above, we can surmise the following:
- Totally committed people who struggle with doubts sometimes (like John the Baptist).
- Totally sinful people who struggle with their reputation. (Like the “sinners” mentioned above).
If you find yourself in either one of these groups, Jesus wants to spend time with you. He will be with you in your solitude and doubts (the believer that you are); or He will celebrate life with you (the immoral person that you are). Anyone who tells you otherwise will be whining along with the ultra-religious people mentioned above, “Hey Jesus, we thought we knew the kind of people you liked—men and women who keep the rules and never question—but you wouldn’t cooperate with us!”
If Jesus didn’t befriend the “religious,” but still loved them, how did He show it? —By refusing to play their games and by challenging them about Himself.