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Lesson 6

Jesus Mingled with People

Memory Text
Luke 15:1-2 (NIV)

Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the
Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, This man welcomes sinners and eats
with them.


With whom did Jesus mingle according to this text?

1. Tax collectors and sinners.
2. Jesus didnt have to go to the ghettos and homeless shelters to find an audience.
3. Rather people gathered around Jesus to hear Him.
4. These people were not necessarily poor.
5. Tax collectors were rich. Prostitutes were rich. Thieves and robbers were rich.
6. Some of our lessons this quarter seemed to be pushing the social gospel.
7. Jesus was not a social worker trying to sign up poor people to receive government
8. He didnt encourage people to get a degree in social work so they could advocate more
effectively on the part of the poor.
9. Jesus certainly did not reject the poor, the needy, the lame, the lepers. He welcomed
10. But He also welcomed the rich and ministered to them.
11. We can think of Nicodemus, a Pharisee whom Jesus welcomed at night, Simon, another
Pharisee with whom Jesus ate, the rich young ruler who went away sorrowfully, Joseph of
Arimathea in whose tomb He was buried.
12. His inner circle of disciples were not poor and marginalized. Andrew, Peter, James, and
John had a thriving fishing business, and Matthew was a tax collector.
13. Those in His wider circle of disciples included people of some means that provided for
His itinerate ministry.
14. Joanna was one of the women mentioned by Luke as a follower of Jesus:
Luke 8:3 (NKJV)
and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herods steward, and Susanna, and many others
who provided for Him from their substance.
15. So Herod Antipas was the king of Judea, Chuza was his financial manager, and Chuzas
wife, Joanna, was a disciple of Jesus who helped provide for His ministry.
16. The point Im trying to make here is that Jesus did not just minister to the outcasts.
17. He ministered to everyone: rich, middleclass, and poor.
18. He ministered to sinners, and that includes everyone from royalty and scribes and
Pharisees to lepers and tax collectors and prostitutes.


What was it that made tax collectors and sinners gather around Jesus to hear Him?
1. I think the key is found in what the Pharisees and teachers of the law muttered about
2. He welcomes sinners and eats with them.
3. Are you glad that Jesus welcomes sinners and eats with them?
4. Where would we be if Jesus had no compassion on sinners.
5. Instead, John pictures Him as standing at the door of our heart
Revelation 3:20 (NKJV)
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the
door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
6. He wants to come in and share a meal with us.
7. Are you interested?
8. The Pharisees rejected sinners and stayed as far away from them as possible.
9. They wouldnt think of sharing a meal with a tax collector or a prostitute.
10. But Jesus welcomed them and ate with them.
11. And how did the tax collectors and sinners respond to Jesus?
12. They gathered around Him to hear Him.
13. So what is the lesson for us in this verse?
14. If we want to have an influence for good on the sinners around us, we need to be
willing to mingle with them as Jesus did.
15. We need to welcome them and eat with them.


Jesus Ministered
The Savior mingled with men,
as one who desired their good.
He showed His sympathy for them,
ministered to their needs,
and won their confidence.
Then He bade them, Follow Me.

1. Ellen White has described the way Jesus ministered to sinners when He walked the earth. It is
found in her book Ministry of Healing p 143.
2. As incredible as it sounds, our quarterly is going to spend a week on each one of these
Q1: Is there a way we could summarize this method in fewer words?
1. How about this: Jesus made friends of sinners before sharing the gospel with them.
Q2: Did Jesus ever use any other methods to minister?
1. I think of how He excoriated the Pharisees in Matt 23.
2. Was He really trying to make friends there?
3. Was He showing sympathy for them there?
4. How about when He cleansed the temple with a whip in hand?
5. The feeding of the 5,000 and the 4,000: Did He make friends of all these people before
sharing with them the gospel of the kingdom?
6. Jesus preached, sometimes to very large crowds.
7. I dont think it was possible for Him to give the personal touch to everyone there.
8. So I think there were different methods Jesus used to minister depending on the
9. Even in calling the 12, the biblical record does not seem to indicate that Jesus spent
much time making friends with His disciples before He bade them Follow me.
10. But once they followed Him, Jesus spent 3.5 years with them building a friendship that
would last forever.
Q3: On the day of Pentecost, how many disciples were in the upper room praying for
the outpouring of the HS? (120)
1. This was the beginning of the Christian church, and it started out with 120 spirit filled
2. While Jesus preached to thousands, He had a solid core of 12 and an expanded core of
Q4: How important do you think friendship is in making disciples that will stay with
the Lord and stay in the church?
1. Demographic studies have revealed that if new members in a church do not connect
with at least three others that befriend them and help disciple them, they will drop out
within six months.
2. Friendship and discipleship go hand in hand.
3. The ones Jesus really succeeded with were the ones He spent time with and made
friends with.
4. So what is the lesson for us?
5. To be successful in making disciples, we have to begin by making friends.
Mingling with Men


What did Jesus do to mingle with us? (Phil 2:5-8)

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form
of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of
no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of
men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and
became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
[See notes on linked slide]
1. Jesus became Immanuel, God with us.
2. He saw our great need. He sympathized with us. He came to dwell among us and
mingle with us and meet our needs.
3. Our greatest need was to be forgiven.
4. He went to the cross and shed His blood and died in our place that we might receive
the gift of eternal life instead of eternal death.

What was Gods objective in sending Jesus to mingle with men? (Matt 1:21)
And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will
save His people from their sins. [R]

1. Sin had separated us from God, the source of life.

2. Jesus came to save us from our sins.
3. So instead of eternal death for all mankind, those who have their sins forgiven can
have eternal life.
4. He came to forgive our sins and give us eternal life.
Romans 6:23New King James Version (NKJV)
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our


What motivated God to send His only Son to meet our greatest need?

1. For God so loved the world

What should motivate us to mingle with the lost in our sphere of influence? (1
John 4:19)

We love Him because He first loved us. [R]

1. Love should also be our motivation.

2. That love for the lost is not something we work up on our own.
3. It comes from realizing how much we are loved by Christ.
4. And because of what He has done for us, we love Him in return.
5. Because we love Him we keep His commandments.
6. And one of His commandments is to make disciples for His kingdom.
7. So our love for Christ should be the thing that motivates us to mingle with those He
wants to save.
Lost and Found

What three parables about the lost and found does Jesus tell in Luke 15?
1. The lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son.
2. Did the sheep know it was lost? (Yes)
3. Did it know how to find its way back to the fold? (No)
4. Did the coin know it was lost? (No)
5. Did it know how to find its way back into its owners hand? (No)
6. Did the son know he was lost? (Yes, he finally came to that realization when he was
feeding the pigs.)
7. Did he know the way back to his fathers house? (Yes)
8. So in these parables Jesus represents all kinds of lost people: some know they are lost,
some dont; some know the way back home, some dont; some want to be saved, some


What similar endings do these three parables have? (Luke 15:7,10,32)

1. In the end of each parable, there is great rejoicing in heaven over the one sinner who
repents and is saved.
2. There is more joy than over 99 righteous people that do not need to repent.


What particular audience was Jesus reaching with these stories? (Luke 15:1-3)
I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner
who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.
Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God
over one sinner who repents.
It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother
was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.
1. These three parables were told in particular because of the muttering of the scribes
and Pharisees: This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.
2. They had no love for sinners and no desire to see them saved.
3. But Jesus says that all of heaven rejoices over one sinner that repents.

In the parable of the prodigal son, who represents the scribes and Pharisees?
What appeal does Jesus make to them?
1. The scribes and Pharisees are represented by the older brother who was angry and
would not go into the party.
2. Jesus appealed to the Pharisees and scribes through the fathers words to the elder
Luke 15:32 (NKJV)
32 It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead
and is alive again, and was lost and is found.
3. Thats where the parable ends.
4. Jesus doesnt say whether the elder brother went in or not.
5. Thats the challenge He gives them: it is right to rejoice when sinners repent.
6. It is right to work for their return to the Fathers house.
7. Let us all rejoice that Jesus came to call sinners to repentance.
Eating with Sinners

How does sharing a meal with someone affect your relationship with them?
1. There is nothing that builds friendships quite like sharing a meal together.
2. When you enjoy someones hospitality in providing food and sustenance for you, a
bond of appreciation is established.

3. Meals are shared with family, and when we invite a stranger, we are treating him like
4. Sharing a meal is a way of saying, I want to be your friend.
5. Sharing a meal says I want to spend time with you, youre important to me.
6. It is something more than words, its a tangible gesture of love.
7. It involves all of the five senses: taste, smell, sight, hearing, and touch.
8. Sharing a meal can be a powerful bridge builder.


Read Matt 9:10-13

10 Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax
collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. 11 And when the
Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors
and sinners?
12 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, Those who are well have no need of a
physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: I desire mercy
and not sacrifice.[a] For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.

[See notes on linked slide]

1. Here again the Pharisees raise the same issue as in Luke 15: why does Jesus eat with
tax collectors and sinners?
2. Jesus answer is very plain in Verses 12 and 13.
3. In verse 12 He says, Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who
are sick.
4. At the end of verse 13, He says, I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to
5. These together are a perfectly good answer as to why He is hanging out with tax
collectors and sinners.
Q1: But what does He mean in the first part of verse 13 when He quotes Hosea 6:6?
1. He tells the Pharisees to go learn what this means: I desire mercy and not sacrifice.
2. What does He mean here?
3. The Hebrew word translated mercy can also be translated lovingkindness.
4. This describes the character God wants to see in His people.
5. That character comes when we trust God to forgive our sins and fill us with the HS.
6. This is righteousness by faith.
7. The fruit of the HS makes our characters more like the character of Jesus.
8. Sacrifice, on the other hand, represents the forms of religion.
9. Often people get caught up in the forms while their hearts are far from God.
10. This is righteousness by works.
11. Just like Jesus told Nicodemus, the Pharisees needed to be born again in order to see
the kingdom of heaven.
12. They thought they were righteous but they were sinners because righteousness comes
by faith and not by works.

How would Jesus have treated the Pharisees if they invited Him to dinner?
1. He would have accepted their invitation.
2. He did not send Nicodemus away when he came to Jesus by night.
3. In fact, it was to Nicodemus that Jesus gave the gospel in a nutshell: John 3:16.
4. Did the Pharisees need Jesus? (absolutely).
5. They were self-righteous, but true righteousness comes only by faith.
6. Paul wrote:
Romans 3:10 New King James Version (NKJV)
As it is written: There is none righteous, no, not one;
7. The sinners Jesus came to call to repentance included the Pharisees and those who
thought they were righteous by the works that they did.
8. The righteousness that saves is the righteousness of Christ that is ours only by faith.


With what groups, if any, would you feel uncomfortable sharing a meal?
1. One that comes to mind readily is a group of Muslim terrorists.
2. They would see me as an infidel that needs to be killed.
3. I would see them as an infidel that needs to be saved.
4. When someone is radically and violently opposed to your world view, it is difficult to
think of sharing a meal with them.
5. The same would be true of radical homosexuals who want to see Christian values and
morality destroyed.

6. The same would be true of radical atheists and evolutionists who make fun of God and
creation and anyone who holds to a biblical world view.
7. I would also feel uncomfortable eating with a bunch of drunks.
8. When outnumbered by the opposition, my tendency is to withdraw and not engage in
meaningful dialog.
9. I am sure Jesus would do a much better job of ministering to sinners that outnumbered

In the World, not of it

Of what do we need to be cautious when we mingle with the secular world
around us? (1 John 2:15-17)
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the
love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the worldthe lust of the
flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of lifeis not of the Father but is of the
world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the
will of God abides forever
1. We need to be cautious of being conformed to the ways of the world.
2. There are many scriptures we could cite in addition to 1 John 2.
Romans 12:2 (NKJV)
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your
mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
James 1:27New King James Version (NKJV)
Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and
widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
Romans 13:14 (NKJV)
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its
John 17:15 (NKJV)
I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep
them from the evil one.
1 Thessalonians 5:22 (NKJV)
Abstain from every form of evil.
3. Jesus hung out with prostitutes and sinners, but He never partook of their sins.
4. He never condoned their sins.
5. He never made excuses for their sins.
6. But instead of condemning them for their sins, He pointed them to God who could
forgive their sins.
7. He showed them a better way.
8. Instead of carrying around the burden of guilt and shame, they could be forgiven and
9. They could know the joy of forgiveness that David wrote of in Ps 32:
Psalm 32:1-2 (NKJV)
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the
man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity.
10. You cannot be truly happy while living in rebellion against God.
11. True joy is found in a loving relationship with the Lord.
Psalm 16:11New King James Version (NKJV)
You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right
hand are pleasures forevermore.

How many non-Adventist friends do you have?

1. A few neighbors, a few colleagues at work, but the majority of my close friends are
fellow Adventists.

2. We have many family members who are not Adventists and quite a few who are
baptized Adventist but are not attending church.
3. Why do Adventists tend to become isolated in the Adventist subculture?
4. We feel comfortable with others that share our world view.
5. When we give up drinking and smoking and foul language and lustful living, our old
friends feel uncomfortable around us and they dont hang out with us anymore.
6. We dont feel comfortable around them so we hang out with fellow Adventists that
share our new values.
7. The Adventist church becomes our new family, and this is a wonderful blessing.
8. But the disadvantage is that there is a natural separation from those who need to hear
the gospel from us.


What ways have you found to mingle with the unchurched?

1. I wish I could say I was more effective at this.
2. One way is to have family get-togethers where we have the opportunity to mingle with
unsaved or unchurched family members.
3. Celebrate the holidays. Celebrate birthdays, weddings, funerals, baptisms. Go to a
state park together for a picnic. Go to family camp and take some unchurched family
members. We have had wonderful experiences at Camp Winnekeag, our conference
Christian camp, for the past 17 years.
4. Grow a vegetable garden and share the produce with neighbors. I have been taking
vegetables to the widow next door and the couple across the street. Cheryl has been
taking them to work to share with her coworkers.
How can we be more effective in mingling?

Mingling is not hard. Just make friends.

Pray for guidance. Ask God to bring you together with someone that needs His love.
Be intentional. Look for opportunities. Dont be afraid. Always wear a smile.
Get outside your comfort zone, but stay connected to Jesus.

What people or places, if any, should be off-limits for a Christian who wants
to mingle with unbelievers?
1. Everybody needs the Lord.
2. But there are some places we probably ought to stay away from because just being
there gives the impression that we are participating in the evil that goes on there.
3. Remember 1 Thes 5:22: Abstain from all appearance of evil.
4. I wouldnt want to mingle on a nude beach or a nudist camp or a swingers club.
5. I would stay out of bars and brothels.
6. I would not march in a gay pride parade in order to mingle with homosexuals.
7. I would not go to any political protest or rally where unbiblical ideas are being pushed.
8. Lets remember what Jesus said to His disciples.
Matthew 10:16 (NKJV)
Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as
serpents and harmless as doves.
The common complaint raised by the Pharisees against Jesus was that This
man welcomes sinners and eats with them.
It was true. Jesus did mingle with sinners, He welcomed them into His presence,
He ate with them, and for that we should all be eternally grateful for we are all
Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost, and He knocks at he door of
each heart, seeking to come in and dine with us.
In the lost and found parables of Luke 15, Jesus emphasizes the joy in heaven
over one sinner that repents.
In the figure of the prodigals elder brother, Jesus challenges the Pharisees to
rejoice when sinners come back home rather than be angry that they dont get
the punishment they deserve.
These parables also challenge us to never doubt the love, goodness, grace, and
forgiveness of our heavenly Father and the eternal joys of dwelling in the house
of the Lord forever.
Jesus prayed for His disciples to be in the world but to be protected from the
evil of it.
Our challenge is to resist being conformed to the world while we work to
transform the world through the gospel.
This week will you ask for Gods guidance and protection as you mingle with the
unsaved in your circle of influence, making friendships that God can use to make
disciples that will listen when He says, Follow Me.