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Even those with a limited knowledge of the Bible will remember that Jesus was scorned and ridiculed for spending time with what were considered the “worst” sinners and the most “unclean” people of His day.

However, Jesus was always determined to focus on those who had the deepest need for Him. As He said, “He was sent not for the healthy, but for the sick,” (Matthew 9:12) and He had little tolerance for those who failed to see their own brokenness.

Clearly, Jesus hung out with sinners. He dined with prostitutes and tax collectors. He interacted with adulterers and harlots. He touched those who were ravaged by socially unacceptable disease. Simply loving them, He listened as much or more than He talked, and His compassion for them and His understanding of their hurt was clear.

If we are to reach the individual struggling with same-gender attraction or the gay community, we must do the same. A very simple scanning of the gospels offers a good picture of several attitudes and actions that characterize Jesus’ way of relating to those who did not know Him and who were lost in their sin.

Jesus routinely broke religious and cultural boundaries. Jesus healed people on the Sabbath, He entered the homes of undesirable people, and He spoke publicly to people the religious leaders ignored. Clearly, Jesus sacrificed tradition and reputation for the sake of the lives He sought to impact. Boy, now there’s a lesson: being more attentive and mindful about our character rather than our reputation.

Jesus began His interaction with sinners by loving them first. In other words, he had a genuine love for them and wanted to get to know them. Remember?

If we are going to be effective in speaking into an individual’s life, we must first establish relationship. Jesus was all about building relationships with sinners. Certainly, Jesus, being Jesus, had quicker relational success than we might have, but His example in getting to know people and letting them see Him is vital for our evangelism efforts.

Jesus physically touched people. In other words, He wasn’t afraid to get a bit dirty. He touched lepers, blind people, and prostitutes. Frankly, I believe physical touch was Jesus’ physical manifestation of His love for people.

In His day, it was considered unclean to even be in proximity with such people. His own disciples often tried to keep “those people” away from Him. But Jesus not only didn’t avoid those people, He sought them out. And it was His touch that healed them both physically and spiritually.

Jesus offered people something better than their sin. He pulled their attention away from their sin, and enabled them to consider and focus on what He could give. He told the woman at the well that He had living water, and then He offers her Himself.

After He saved the adulterous woman from being stoned, He offered her freedom from condemnation. After the harlot anointed His feet, He forgave her sin and saved her for eternity. Now, catch this. While Jesus healed many people of their physical ailments, He often indicated that the forgiveness of their sins was the true gift, even more so than the physical healing they so desired. If we are going to reach the homosexual community, we must offer them something better than their sin.

How do we love them like Jesus?

Jesus’ own examples provides us with several practical tools in reaching our gay and lesbian friends, neighbors, etc.

First, please take this to heart – you have permission to love your gay friends or family members. And, frankly, you have more than permission, you have a mandate from the Lord.

Pastor Phillip Lee
Executive Director
His Way Out Ministries

His Way Out has been faithfully ministering to men and women seeking a way out of sexually broken lifestyles since 1994. We could not do it without the support of Christians like you. Every dollar that you give to His Way Out Ministries helps to further this vital ministry. Won’t you take a minute to prayerfully consider a monthly donation to His Way Out? Please consider making a one-time donation or set up a secure monthly PayPal contribution on our donation page at https://www.hiswayout.com/donate/. Thank you, Pastor Phillip Lee

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