KEY SCRIPTURE: Matthew 9:10 KJV” And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples”.
AFFABILITY is a disposition to be friendly and approachable or easy to talk to. In Matt 9 10, the Lord sat at meet in Matthew’s house, with a great number of the publicans and ‘sinners’. This scene caused the Pharisees to complain to the disciples of Jesus that, why did He sit and eat with the publicans and sinners? Jesus in spite of His holiness amazingly attracted sinners to himself so much. The good part of this is that, these sinners after an encounter or contact with Him, became converted sinners such that they go in an opposite direction to their former way of life (Luke 19:1-10). How was the Lord so successful in attracting sinners to Himself? The following are some of the reasons that caused many to stay around Him so much. These are as follows
1.The great miraculous power He exhibited John 6:2
2. His down to earth practical teachings Matt 13:35
3.His tactful approach to all the publicans.
Let’s consider the third reason. I will consider a few instances about how he handled the ‘sinners ‘ that made all of the people seek to get close to Him. In John 8:1-8, the Lord sat down teaching a group of the people. The Pharisees and a crowd brought a woman who was accused of committing adultery. They said to the Lord, Moses stated that anyone who commits such an OFFENCE must be stoned, and what does He, the Lord say. The Lord asked them, let the one who has not ever committed sin cast the first stone at this woman. Every one of her accusers left without casting any stone, for none of them was guiltless.
In 1st Corinth 9 :19-23 apostle Paul shows the principle by which the Lord operated in order to win all classes of people. The Lord’s ministry attracted, Pharisees, Sadducees, Publicans and all persons and even little children. The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinth 9:22 KJV that” To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some”. The Lord stated why he related with all persons in the way he did. He said, although he ate and drank with the publicans and sinners, ” wisdom is justified of her children” (Matt 11:19b). We see that the Lord raised men and women of impeccable character. These so-called sinners did not remain sinners and drunkards after relating with Jesus. What did the Lord do that made all these people become such dedicated men and women to God? I believe he ate with them not as a glutton but a means of relating with them and winning them.
Please notice that among the Jews there was new wine, which was not fermented and there was old wine which was fermented (Matt 8:17) Please note that, a new wine is the freshly pressed grapes. It gets bad or fermented when it is kept in the wine skin or bottle after some time. I believe the Lord took the new wine. This is the kind he produced at the wedding feast that the master of the ceremony commented that, you have kept the best wine or good wine till the tail end of the ceremony. (John 2:10). He had a very strong impact on the people because they witnessed such a disciplined character.
The love of Jesus for all men controlled His actions towards them such that He always acted rightly, that continually won their hearts.
I have been sent to win men for Christ. I have a great love for all of them. This love controls my actions such that I become affable towards all persons.
Matthew 11:19 KJV” The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.”
John 2:10 KJV” And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.”