Summary: A message dealing with our attitudes toward lost people, and how we should relate to them.
HOW TO TREAT A SINNER
INTRO: From western movies we have learned about good and bad people. The bad people are cattle rustlers, horse thieves, etc. the good are innocent victims and shining heros. They look differently, walk differently, and act differently. The hero sings, hits harder, and shoots straighter. Good and bad drink, gamble, fight, shoot people, but the good are still good.
The way to treat bad people is to find them, beat them up, show them up, tell them off, and send them away. Then there are only good people left. In Jesus day there were stereotypes of good and bad people. How did he treat them? READ TEXT! The accepted treatment was to denounce, condemn, and avoid sinners. Also, you had to keep yourself pure from them. Jesus denounced this treatment and attitude.
I. A SINNER FORGIVEN (vv. 1-8).
1. A strange reception for a paralytic man—”Your sins are forgiven.”
2. Man’s first and greatest need is forgiveness of sin.
(1) Most of our misery comes from sin.
(2) God forgives that problem.
3. Jesus claimed the right to forgive sin.
4. The evidence confirmed his claim.
II. A SINNER HEALED.
1. Jesus healed sick souls.
2. None of us are wholly sound, we all have need of the physician.
3. The church is to carry on this healing in the spirit and power of Jesus Christ.
III. THE HEALED SINNER ENLISTED (v. 9).
1. A different kind of sinner now.
2. The call to discipleship was a call to service. Jesus knew his past.
3. The simple call brought a ready response.
IV. THE SINNER ACCEPTED BY JESUS (vv. 10-13).
1. Matthew’s invitation to Jesus to come to his house for dinner.
2. The sharp criticism of the Pharisees because Jesus associated with sinners. Jesus accepted them as his social equals.
3. Christianity is supposed to create loving fellowship, not turn people away.
CONC: This is what Christ offers to the sinners: Forgiveness of sins, healing of the soul, enlistment into Kingdom service and full acceptance into the Heavenly Father’s family.