Who was drawn to Jesus? If you had only about three years of ministry to bring about the salvation of men’s souls, with whom would you spend your days? Amazingly, Jesus spent time with young and old, rich and poor, those of His nation and those from outside, and everyone in between. If we would really follow the example of Jesus (1 Peter 2:21) and truly fix our eyes on the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2), we would strive to be impartial when it comes to the company we keep and those we try to reach with the gospel in this life. Jesus had close friends, those with whom we might say He spent more time, but Jesus never could be charged with ‘playing favorites.’
Diversity is seen in the choosing of the twelve. We know more about some of these men, but from what we do know, in brief, is that they were a very diverse group. Jesus chose four men who had a fishing background. One was a Jewish tax-collector for Rome, while another was a zealot whose dream would have been to overthrow Roman rule. They came from different backgrounds, had varying levels of education and wealth, but in Jesus they found the greatest grounds for commonality. Jesus wasn’t seeking the wealthiest, most powerful, or most influential. His closest were not scholars and they did not serve as priests, nor as religious ‘elite.’
Jesus did not classify sin or sinners. Lean in and listen to this point and don’t take it too far. In the home of Matthew, (Matthew 9:9- 13) the self-righteous Pharisees asked the disciples of Jesus why He was eating with tax collectors and sinners. Jesus quoted from Hosea 6:6 which is a context dealing with the hearts of people and not just external acts of obedience. God is concerned with both. Jesus was not condoning sin, but He was seeking to save the lost! Apart from tax collectors and sinners, Jesus would also eat in the homes of the Pharisees (Luke 7:36-39). Jesus taught a great lesson on forgiveness in this home (Luke 7:40-48). In John 8:3-11, Jesus not only showed willingness to forgive the woman caught in adultery, He also brought her accusers face-to-face with their own sin. Can’t you be drawn closer to One who loves sinners?
Jesus never favored the rich over the poor. Economics mean nothing to the One who made it all! It was a rich young ruler who ran to Jesus regarding eternal life (Luke 18:18-23). On the other hand, it was the beggar, Bartimaeus, who felt compelled to shout for Jesus to come near (Mark 10:46-52). Don’t you appreciate that Jesus could easily run in any circle? What a Savior – truly the Son of Man!
Jesus was impartial because, as He taught in Luke 10:25-37, all men are our neighbors and we are to love each one (Matthew 22:39). Jesus didn’t just teach it, however, He lived it. Let us be drawn closer to Jesus through examination of His impartiality and let us not love in word alone, but also in deed.
As Paul said, “I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ,” (1 Corinthians 10:33-11:1). In humility, imitate Jesus and strive to reach as many lost souls as possible with His saving message – with great impartiality!