1 Corinthians 13: 6
If love does not rejoice in evil why did Jesus spend so much time with those who were considered evil?
Jesus was walking by the place that taxes were being collected and called Mathew to follow him. Who was Mathew? He was a Jew supporting the Roman government by taking taxes. Furthermore he added to those taxes an amount that would help him live in a lifestyle he enjoyed. It is no wonder that people hated the tax collectors because they supported an occupying government and stole from their own people.
Let us continue to see those that Jesus spent time with. At this time a good Jew would not spend time with a sinner nor would a sinner be able to inter into the temple to worship. If a person had an illness it was commonly accepted that it was due to a sin and were outcast among their own people.
In Mark 5 we find that Jesus came to a place a demon possessed man was living and spent time with him. From here Jesus is approached by a woman who had been an outcast for twelve years and talks to her. Further into Mark we have the story of a Greek woman who comes to Jesus and Jesus heals her daughter.
Not only did many of the outcast come to Jesus but he also went to some of them. In John 4 Jesus “had to go” to Samaria just to meet the woman at the well. We also have the story of Zacchaeus another tax collector. Although not considered as evil, Jesus often talked to the Jewish leaders about their understanding of God’s laws.
Again, why does Jesus spend so much time with those who are evil or doing wrong? The answer is that he loved them in spite of what was going on in their lives. We often hear him tell others not to sin any more. With the woman at the well it was a way to inter the city to share the love of God with everyone there. The demon possessed man was told to return to his home and tell others what God had done for him. The love Jesus has for the religious leaders is seen by his continuous interaction with them. He answers all their questions and tells them to return to the true meaning of God’s word.
The love of Jesus see the wrong that is in us but does not enjoy it. This is why he continues to show people compassion, and mercy by spending time with them and sharing the truth with them. Not everyone that Jesus came into contact with accepted him, and then there were some that it took a while for them to accept his message.
As we imitate Jesus let us not enjoy evil in any form, instead enjoy the truth and share that with others. Just like Jesus, let us try to meet the needs of other and share what God has done for us. Has God helped you overcome a difficult time in your life? Has God given you a new understanding or taught you something new? Others will need to hear what God has done for you. We will find that many will not accept the love of God but do not let that stop us from doing what God has called us to do.
God Bless you as you imitate Christ.