I think we can greatly take for granted all the “sinners” Jesus connected with in the New Testament. I mean its CRAZY who Jesus used to spread his message if you really think about it. All through the New Testament, Jesus is hanging out with “sinners” and he used them to spread his message.
Can you imagine if we followed his model today? Ok, so let’s say Jesus is going to start a new ministry here in America. He says, “round up all the prostitutes, strippers, and people who cheat on their spouses. Oh, go recruit the homeless and insane people who live out on the street. Go to the hospitals and recruit some sick people. I don’t care if they have Ebola or Aids. Just bring them. Any cripples there? Ok, now we need the real life changers. Go to the jails and get the murderers and those with violent crimes on their records. Need some drug addicts too. How about some people into black magic, Wicca, or any kind of new age mystical stuff? They connect great with spiritual type people. Need some idol worshipers. Go get some Hindus, Buddhists, and even those Hare Krishna people. Ok, now let’s throw in a few blue collared people. Construction workers, truck drivers, trash collectors, custodians, and taxi drivers. Well, now that I think about it, we also need house wives, lawyers, accountants, doctors, teachers, and coaches. It’s going to take every kind of sinner and every kind of person if we are going reach everyone.”
Wow! Can you imagine? Who do you typically think of as a church leader, pastor or missionary? Think about that for a minute. God uses ordinary people in the Bible who were sinners. King David who wrote most of the Pslams was a murderer and adulterer. Moses was a murderer. Who did God use to help the Israelites in the book of Joshua? A prostitute. Jesus’ disciple Matthew was a tax collector, one the most hated people at the time because he worked for Rome and betrayed his countrymen. Interesting choice. Peter the fishermen called himself a sinner. Peter was not some bible educated guy. Paul murdered and put Christians in prison before Jesus appeared to him and Jesus wants that guy to basically write most of the New Testament? Mary Magdelyn had seven demons come out of her before she started following Jesus. Yikes! How about the demon possessed guy in Mark 5 who lived in the cemetery howling and cutting himself? He was so bad that people tried to chain him down so he wouldn’t hurt anyone. In our society, he would probably be known as the homeless guy on the side of the street talking to himself who can turn violent at the drop of a hat. Some of the greatest stories in the New Testament involve a prostitute or an adulterer. These are the people Jesus hung out with? These are the people who followed Jesus? This is who Jesus wanted to use to spread his message? Sounds pretty crazy. The Bible is full of stories of God using broken and sinful people. The fact is, Jesus wants to use sinners for his work. He wants to use ordinary people!
Are you a sinner? Are you broken? Imperfect? Messed up? Ordinary? Got a crime record? Committed adultery? Addicted to porn? Addicted to drugs and alcohol? Have a regretful past? Well time to sign up! Jesus wants to use you!