Friend of Sinners

Luke 15:1-31 NLT

July 28, 2019

Fenton Moorhead 
Guest Speaker



Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating [being friends] with such sinful people—even eating with them! Luke 15:1-2 NLT


1. Sinful people were drawn to Jesus not because he cut them any slack morally but because they sensed they truly mattered to him!


A. [Jesus came] “to seek and save the lost.” Luke 19:10 NLT

B. [Jesus explained] Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have not come to call those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.  Mark 2:17 NLT


2. God is holy and does not grade on the curve.

A. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Romans 3:23 NLT

B. Sin is not primarily the sinful things we think, say or do; it is a condition of the heart.

C. The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? Jeremiah 17:9 NLT


3. Jesus answered his critics:


‘Rejoice with me, because I have found my lost sheep!’  I tell you, in the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance. Luke 15:6b-8 NLT


‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.’  In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents. Luke 15:9-10 NLT


To illustrate the point further [why Jesus eats with notorious sinners], Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons. Luke 15:11-12 NLT


A. The father is willing to endure the pain of rejected love.

B.  A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living.  Luke 15:13 NLT 

C. About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything. Luke 15: 14-16 NLT

D. The greatest sin was not the waste of the money or immorality, but the broken relationship with his father.

 E. When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger!  I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”  Luke 15:17-19 NLT


4. A holy ambush is when the Holy Spirit interrupts your thinking and speaks to your heart. 

A. So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Luke 15: 20-21 NLT

B. Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found. So the party began. Luke 15:22-24 NLT

C. The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him… ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found! Luke 15:28, 31-32 NLT


5. Not just holy people are loved by God!

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Romans 5:6 NLT



  • I believe that God is calling me to Jesus to save me from my sin.
  • I need to treat sinners the way Jesus treats me.
  • I will speak to a minister in the Next Step Center about how I can know Jesus as my Savior.