From the world’s point of view, Jesus didn’t seem very picky about His friendships. He hung out with the lowliest of the low–the despised, the forgotten, and the unnoticed. One of the accusations leveled against our Savior was that He was “a friend of tax collectors and ‘sinners.’ ” ~ Luke 7:34
For the most part, that accusation was true. Jesus seemed far more interested in the sincerity of a heart than the perfection of a life, and He found many sincere seekers among those the religious elite labeled as “sinners.” But it wasn’t just the poor and the messed-up that Jesus came to save. He came for ordinary folks and the extraordinary as well. “To all who received him,” John proclaims in his gospel, “to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). You didn’t have to perform or measure up to some religious standard to be Jesus’s friend. You simply had to accept what He had to offer.
~ Excerpted from Lazarus Awakening by Joanna Weaver