"'Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?' The expert in the law replied, 'The one who had mercy on him.' Jesus told him, 'Go and do likewise.'"
“Hate the sin, love the sinner” is a phrase often used to describe how Christians are to respond to unbelievers. But most of us find it difficult to separate the person from the behavior. For example, how many can say they love Hitler, but hate his sin?
Religious people in Jesus’ day did not try to separate the sin from the sinner, and in their opinion, Samaritans were the worst of sinners. They despised them. Seven hundred years prior, Assyria conquered northern Israel, exiled many residents and resettled the land with foreigners. Intermarriage led to a hybrid religion. “Pure” Jews shunned Samaria and traveled out of their way to avoid the area.
Yet Jesus used a story about a Samaritan to shame
His listeners. This man gave of his time and his money to help someone who saw him as an object of contempt. The “sinner” was the only one to show real love. What might happen if you and I stopped labeling people and started loving them, despite their sin? Love the sinner – it’s what God did through His Son for us.
WHAT UNLOVABLE PERSON IN YOUR LIFE IS GOD CALLING YOU TO LOVE? ALLOW GOD TO LOVE THAT PERSON THROUGH YOU.
Bible In A Year
- Jeremiah 9-10
- Psalm 108
- Romans 7-8