Summary: Jesus was a friend of sinners and set us right by HIS actions. In Jesus God sees his righteousness on us, in spite of all of our shortcomings.

1. Guilt by Association movie:

"Guilt by Association" is a 2002 movie based on true events about a single mother who gets caught up in a drug bust because of her drug-dealing boyfriend. The woman, who unknowingly helps her boyfriend, is sentenced to a 20-year mandatory minimum sentence for her small involvement. The woman fights to prove her innocence and to regain control of her life.

a. The idea that a person is guilty of an offense because of associating with a guilty person

b. Can be a legal, dangerous, or tempting situation -- 1 Corinthians 15.33 (evil companions)

c. Is not always the case (Torah -- 2 witnesses)

1) Ralph Neighbour -- evangelized in bars -- did not drink alcohol

2) Tony Campolo -- once gave a birthday party for a prostitute in Honolulu -- not engaging prostitutes

3) Jesus -- accused of befriending sinners by his opponents

2. Matthew 9.10-13

I. How We See God is Central

A. Some Pharisees' View of God Promoted a God of Works

1. Harsh; Condemning; Demanding

2. Reason for binding heavy burdens on people

3. The Reason we have viewed them as "works salvation" people

B. As Sinners, How Do We See Him?

1. Gracious, loving God? -- Luke 15

2. Harsh Taskmaster poised to punish?

C. Jesus Saw Him and Demonstrated Him to Us -- John 1.14

1. Purpose of his mission is to demonstrate God to us:

No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known. John 1.18

14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. John 15.14-15

2. Sharing of Grace and its impact on us -- 2 Corinthians 5.16-21

16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer.17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

a. Not just Righteousness but the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD -- fulfilled in Jesus (Matthew 3.15)

b. Righteousness = fulfillment of the expectations in any relationship, whether with God or other people

c. This is a motivation to keep a right relationship with God -- because of his gracious and kind actions toward us

D. An Irony

1. View of God in OT -- Harsh; critical; demanding

2. View of God in NT -- Loving, kind, gracious

3. Yet -- People danced before God; clapped; sang; played instruments to praise; REJOICED in the study of his word in OT; what about us in the New Covenant? Stoic, unemotional?

II. How We See People is Crucial

A. "Love the Sinner and Hate the Sin" -- easier said than done

1. Jeffrey Dahmer

2. Pedophile -- News story in Huntsville, AL -- a man putting hidden cameras in public restrooms so he can lust after children

3. Islam -- Jesus died for Muslim sinners just like all others

4. Homosexuality, etc., etc.

B. It Takes the Presence of Jesus to Produce Right/Righteous Behavior

1. The Woman at The Well - John 4:1-42

a. Recognition of differences including her sinfulness

b. Right response of bringing the villagers

2. Sinful Woman at Simon's House -- Luke 7.36-50

a. Simon, an influential Pharisee, invited Jesus to a meal -- we are not sure why

b. The sinful woman came and washed his feet with tears and hair -- perfume -- right behavior from the woman

3. The Sinner "Up a Tree" -- Luke 19.10

a. Repentance of restoring what he had stolen from people

b. Due to the presence of Jesus -- vv. 9-10

9 And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost."

John Haddington said, "I have been comforted for more than 20 years by the thought that Jesus welcomes, not only sensible sinners, but stupid ones as well."

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