In today’s blog, I am sharing “A Word, A Song and A Laugh” to encourage you to be “winsome” like Jesus.
“By this time a lot of men and women of questionable reputation were hanging around Jesus, listening intently. The Pharisees and religion scholars were not pleased, not at all pleased. They growled, ‘He takes in sinners and eats meals with them, treating them like old friends.’ “
Luke 15:1-2, Message
Luke 15 is one of my favorite chapters in the New Testament. I have always been inspired and challenged by the first two verses. In these verses (and many others in the Bible) — I see Jesus as “winsome.” Apparently, He is easy to be around, relatable, nonjudgmental, understanding and nice — while also being a powerful preacher, speaker and teacher who never compromised the truth of God.
I don’t know about you, but that’s how I want to be. I have missed the mark many times, but my desire is to be “winsome” like Jesus while also preaching His Word without compromise.
There are a few things we can learn from this passage.
When we look at these verses of Scripture, who wanted to hang out with Jesus? The people of “questionable reputation” wanted to hang out with Jesus. They came to Him. (They didn’t run from Him!) They wanted to listen to His words. Jesus treated them like old friends and ate meals with them.
As we think of our own lives, who wants to hang out with us?
In these verses, who was mad? The Pharisees and religious scholars got mad and vocalized their judgmental attitude. These self-righteous leaders didn’t like the fact that Jesus hung out with people who were known to be “publicans, sinners, gluttons, thieves, sexually immoral, drunkards, etc.” (Matthew 11:19)
As we think of our own lives, are we mad, self-righteous and judgmental?
If you listen to some believers these days or read too many posts on Facebook or Twitter you’d get the idea that Jesus is fed up and angry with everyone about everything. The way some people describe Jesus, He is someone you want to run from, not run to hang out with!
Sure, we live in a backward culture where people call “good evil and evil good” and we should speak up and preach the truth of God’s Word while also being winsome in such a way that people want to hang out with us to hear what we have to say.
I know it’s a tall order. Thankfully, Jesus is our example and as we walk with Him, He’ll show us how to do it. The litmus test of our effectiveness will be seen in the results — just like they were in Jesus’ life and ministry.
“The Son of Man, on the other hand, feasts and drinks, and you say, ‘He’s a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and other sinners!’ But wisdom is shown to be right by its results.” Matthew 11:19