Meeting with a therapist in downtown Cincinnati meant that I often encountered homeless people who often asked for a few bucks. One of these times I offered to buy the man lunch at a KFC right next to where we were standing. He said, “Ok, hold on a minute.” Then he went over to a small car and knocked on the window. The window came down and back up. I assumed that he’d just asked a drug dealer what he wanted for lunch in trade for a hit of some drug. When the man I’d been talking to told me what he’d like me to get from KFC I went over to the car and started a one-sided argument with the person in the car. Looking back, I’m not so sure the person in the car was a drug dealer– it could have been his wife, girlfriend, father, or mother in that car. The man might have been trying to get enough and the right kind of lunch to share with his friend in the car. At that moment I was convinced the man in the car was selling drugs. I certainly could have been wrong about who was in the car. I also could have gotten shot.
What would Jesus have done? I don’t know, but I should have asked the Holy Spirit, my legal friend, how to navigate the situation. If the person in that car remembers that day, he might describe me as a crazy jerk.
Sinners liked Jesus. The religious people mostly did not like him. As students of Jesus, we ought to live an appeal to the world to get to know Jesus. The Lord attracted people to himself by miracles and by compassion. After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead so many people came out to him that the Pharisees said “the whole world has gone after him.” Another time when Jesus healed everyone in all the towns and villages “he had compassion on them because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”
You and I have power through the Holy Spirit and the natural powers of our talents and wealth. Through the Holy Spirit we also have access to the compassion of Jesus Christ.
Sinners could be drawn to us like they were to Jesus for compassion and for help.

He Eats with Sinners

Redeemer's Church