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Text Sermons : Zac Poonen : Pharisees do not mingle with sinful people

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The Pharisees said to Jesus disciples, "Why is your Teacher eating with sinners?" (Matthew 9:11).

Pharisees will mingle only with their own crowd of "holy" Pharisees. They criticised even Jesus for mingling with sinners. Is your holiness one that prevents you from mingling with your unconverted relatives? It is true that we can find fellowship only with God's children. But we can be friendly with all. Jesus was known as the "Friend of sinners". If you want to be like Jesus, you must be a friend of sinners.

A Pharisee will not attend the wedding reception of an unconverted relative, because he feels he will be polluted thereby. Jesus however would have gladly attended an unconverted relative's wedding reception. He went to the homes of sinners, where they probably had dancing and drinking going on. He would share the gospel with those sinners. Contact with them didn't defile Him because His righteousness was inward. It is true that He spent most of His time with His disciples. But He spent a lot of time talking to sinful people. How can we win sinners to the Lord if we are not friendly with them?

A good question you can ask yourself is this: How many people in your church were brought to the Lord by you? Even though you may have been in your church for 20 years, you may not have brought a single person to Christ. Don't you think this indicates something about your life? Many elders too have not brought a single person to Christ in many, many years. The reason could be that they are Pharisees. If you honestly acknowledge your Phariseeism in this area, God can use you to bring others to Him.

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