Who Do You Hang With?

We befriend the friendless, love the difficult and see the unseen because Jesus calls us to. By Justin an Courtney Rose

When someone chooses to follow Jesus, a lot of things change in their life. They move from death into life, from sin into righteousness and from being self-absorbed to having Kingdom values. Love should guide their every action, and grace should be spoken through their every word. We truly are made new when we become Christians.

Another thing that changes when we give our lives to Christ is who we choose to hang out with. Now, you might be thinking: “Isn’t it a bit juvenile and clichéd to say we need to be careful about who we hang out with?” But read our words carefully: when we are found in Christ, it changes who we choose to hang out with. What exactly do we mean?

Acts 9 is a very famous passage in which we see the conversion of Saul, also known as Paul.

Recently, verse 43 (the last verse of the chapter), has been very interesting to us. It states that after healing Dorcas, Peter, who was Jesus’ right-hand man, stayed in Joppa and lived with a man named Simon, a tanner. Now, this may not seem like much to you and me, but this was a massive deal to first-century Jews. According to their understanding of biblical law, it was forbidden for any Jew to associate with anyone who routinely worked with dead animals. In fact, tanners were required to live 75 feet outside of a village due to their constant state of ceremonial uncleanness.

“We befriend the friendless, love the difficult and see the unseen because Jesus calls us to. ”

Any good Jew would not hang out with a tanner because it would make them ceremonially unclean. Yet, Peter is happy to surround himself with those that the world overlooks. This sets up the story in Acts 10 where Peter receives a vision about clean and unclean food. He later realizes that this vision was ac- tually God telling Peter that Jesus offers salvation to the entire world, not just to those who are born as or convert to eth- nic Judaism. Peter was learning to sur- round himself with those who needed friends and salvation.

We see this during the life of Jesus as well. He is often critiqued by the reli- gious elite for surrounding himself with tax collectors and sinners (Mark 2:16). One man questions Jesus’ prophetic role when He allows Himself to be anointed by a sinful woman (Luke 7:39). Jesus rebukes His disciples for inhibiting the little children from coming to be near Him (Matthew 19:14). Jesus even offers salvation and eternal life to a m an on death row (Luke 23:43). Furthermore, Jesus is referred to as a “friend of sin- ners” (Matthew 11:19).

During the Christmas season, we would spend every morning drinking coffee with and talking to the bellringers at our corps (church). We sought to know them and show them the love of Christ. In recent months, we have stayed up late into the night talking to an alcoholic neighbor who is wrestling with addiction and faith. We befriend the friendless, love the difficult and see the unseen because Jesus calls us to. When we are found in Christ, it changes who we choose to spend time with because we start to understand how important salvation is and how badly each of us needs Jesus.

  • March 1:  Mark 2:13-17
  • March 2:  Luke 19:1-10
  • March 3:  Luke 7:36-50
  • March 4:  Matthew 19:13-15
  • March 5:  Luke 15:1-7
  • March 6:  Luke 7:31-35
  • March 7:  Luke 23:26-43
  • March 8:  Acts 14:8-20
  • March 9:  Acts 10
  • March 10:  John 8:1-11
  • March 11:  Matthew 5:13-16
  • March 12:  John 9:1-12
  • March 13:  Acts 13:46-49
  • March 14:  Acts 26
  • March 15:  Ephesians 5:1-20
  • March 16:  1 Timothy 1:3-11
  • March 17:  Matthew 10
  • March 18:  1 Timothy 3:1-13
  • March 19:  Matthew 9:9-13
  • March 20:  John 13:1-17
  • March 21:  John 13:31-35
  • March 22:  1 Corinthians 11:1
  • March 23:  Philippians 3:15-21
  • March 24:  1 Timothy 1:12-17
  • March 25:  1 Timothy 4
  • March 26:  1 Peter 2:11-25
  • March 27:  Matthew 11:1-19
  • March 28:  Leviticus 19:33-37
  • March 29:  Deuteronomy 10:12-22
  • March 30:  Isaiah 56:1-8
  • March 31:  Jonah 3

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