"A friend of publicans and sinners." ....Luke 7:34
Watchman Nee: 'Since I first saw Jesus the Saviour as the friend of sinners, I have seen many unusual and difficult people brought to Him. I remember once a young woman came and attacked me, saying that she did not want to be saved. She said she was young and intended to have a good time and had no wish to leave her ways of sin, nor the least desire for salvation. After she had more or less raved at me for a while, I said, "Shall we pray?" "What on earth should I pray?" she replied scornfully. I said, "I can't be responsible for your prayer, but I will pray first; and then you can tell the Lord Jesus all that you have been saying to me." "Oh, I couldn't do that!" she said, somewhat taken aback. "Yes, you can," I replied. "Don't you know He is the friend of sinners?" This touched her. She did pray - a very unorthodox prayer - but from that hour the Lord began to work in her heart and within a few days' time she was gloriously saved!'
Today in the Church as the body of Christ, it is the same! Jesus is the friend of all sinners everywhere, and what we cannot do to save ourselves, He can! That Lord Jesus is now our friend is only made possible by the fact that He loved us and gave Himself for us while we were separated from God due to our sin. It is so true that the Lord Jesus is the friend of the sinner before He becomes the sinner's friend!