Some people say, “Jesus hung out with sinners”. Jesus did not “hang out” with sinners the way we today know hanging out to be. Jesus did eat with sinners and go to their homes and speak with them, BUT He did not partake of whatever sinful deed sinners did. If people read on from where it says, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?“, they would see that when Jesus heard that He replied, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Matthew 9:12-13. Jesus did not aid and abet sinners to remain in sin, He came to call all of us out of our sins. If Jesus simply came to “hang out with sinners” then why did He tell the disciples to go out into all the world and preach the Gospel and repentance from sins? (Luke 24:47, Matthew 16:15) Jesus goes to the sick to bring healing not leave us sick.
We must not forget that Jesus came here for a purpose, and that was to redeem us from our sins, not to give us freedom to remain in them. Most people want to go to heaven, but it is written that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God, 1 Corinthians 9-10. We have to be born again (John 3:5-8), the old man who lived in sin we must put him off, he is dead to us now, Ephesians 4:21-25. This is true repentance, to put off the old man, (stop practicing sin) and put on the new man (walk in the ways of the Lord). It’s strange that people try to make it seem like Jesus just hung around with sinners and accepted their behavior. I think some of the people use this response because they want to remain comfortable with their own personal depiction of Jesus no matter how unrealistic it is, as long as it leaves room for them to continue in a sinful lifestyle. Some people forget that Jesus Christ is the Light of the world, John 8:12, light has no fellowship with darkness.
We have scripture that tells us that, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Therefore “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18. Would the very same God who instructs us not to be unequally yoked with sinners yoke Himself with sinners? No, He would not, and He ever did.
The next time somebody pulls out, “Jesus hung out with sinners.” Remind them of what it was He was doing when He was around sinners, He was calling them to repentance just like we as believers are to do today in humility, love, and in a spirit of gentleness.