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Let Jesus Be The Example


He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm. – Proverbs 13:20

The Bible may seem to contain some contradictions, but God has taken precautions to keep His Word free from error. As we study it, we understand the paradoxes.

Take, for instance, the matter of the biblical teaching about separation from sin. We are told in Hebrews 7:26 that Jesus is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners. Yet in Hebrews 4:15, we read that Jesus “has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin.”

He was without sin, separated from sinners–sinless. Yet one of the major accusations by His enemies was that He associated with sinners. Listen to the words found in Luke 15:1-2: “Now the tax collectors and ‘sinners’ were all gathering around to hear him. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, ‘This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.'”

In one place in the Bible we learn that Jesus was “set apart from sinners.” In another place we read that He associated with sinners. In fact, in one place we are told that He went home with Zacchaeus, who was a widely known, rich, eccentric sinner. And again His enemies used the situation to condemn Him (Luke 19:1-10).

Jesus’ words clear up the problem. He said, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10). “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick… For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Matthew 9:12,13).

Jesus was on a rescue mission. But while he was on that mission, he did not engage in the sin of those he came to save. That’s our example of the separated life.

Prayer

Lord, keep me separated from sin, but not from the sinner who needs to know about You. Amen.

To Ponder

What does it mean that we are to love sinners?

(The Navigators)