Summary: Jesus is the friend of sinners. As our compassionate friend, he removes our fears, forgives our sins, and makes us whole.
VISITATION #5: JESUS IS THE FRIEND OF SINNERS
INTRO TO TOPIC:
“What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?” (Psalm 8:4).
• The whole story of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation is about God seeking to have an intimate, personal friendship with sinful human beings.
• “So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.” (Ex. 33:11).
• “Abraham believed God…And was called the friend of God.” (James 2:23).
• Luke reveals Jesus as “a friend of…sinners.” (Luke 7:34).
• Friend – philos = friend, to be friendly to one, wish him well.
THE BIG IDEA: Jesus is the friend of sinners. As our compassionate friend, he removes our fears, forgives our sins, and makes us whole.
STORIES OF JESUS THE FRIEND OF SINNERS:
1. JESUS REMOVES OUR FEARS:
“1 So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, 2 and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. 3 Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. 4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, "Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch." 5 But Simon answered and said to Him, "Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net." 6 And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. 7 So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!" 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men." 11 So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.” (Luke 5:1-11).
• When Peter saw Jesus perform the miracle, He recognized Him as Lord.
• Peter saw his own sinfulness, and said, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man!”
• How did Jesus respond? “Do not be afraid.” Even though He knew all about Pete’s sins!
• “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15).
• “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18).
• When you believe in Jesus, you become one of God’s children. No more fear!
• When we become friends of Jesus, our lives have new purpose. Jesus told Peter, “From now on you will catch men.” In other words, you will help other people to come to know Jesus as Lord, Saviour, and Friend.
• Look at all of the disciples Jesus chose: Peter, James, John, Thomas, Philip and Judas…
2. JESUS FORGIVES OUR SINS:
A. JESUS CLEANSES THE LEPER – A PICTURE OF SIN:
“12 And it happened when He was in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, "Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean." 13 Then He put out His hand and touched him, saying, "I am willing; be cleansed." Immediately the leprosy left him. 14 And He charged him to tell no one, "But go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as a testimony to them, just as Moses commanded." 15 However, the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities.” (Luke 5:12-15).
• Leprosy in the Bible is a picture of sin. Sin is like a disease that affects our whole being.
• “So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God -- all because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us in making us friends of God.” (Romans 5:11).
• Because Jesus died on the Cross and paid the price for our sins, we can be washed clean.