John 1:18 (NLT) No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God,… has revealed God to us.
An interesting revelation is found by studying the life of Jesus as it is given to us in the four gospels. When we read the gospels there is a tendency to only teach that Jesus came to redeem man from their debt of sin. Praise God for the forgiveness of sin that we have, by grace, through faith in Jesus. But what is often overlooked is that Jesus also came to reveal The Father, and in doing so, He gives us an example of how to manifest Him in and through our lives today. The way that Jesus dealt with prostitutes, the crooked tax collectors, the drunkards, and so on and so forth teaches us that you can display the love of God, the grace of God, the goodness of God, and the mercy of God without tolerating or condoning sin or condemning the sinner.
Does it amaze you that sinners wanted to be with Jesus? People like Zaccheus, the cheating tax collector (Luke 19), adulterous women (John 4 & 8), and demon-possessed individuals (Luke 8). The orthodox religious leaders of the day were offended because of who associated with Jesus and how He dealt with sinners. They were offended because they only had an academic, head knowledge of Scripture, but they had no clue of the true character and nature of The Father. They were constantly offended by the kind of people that Jesus chose to be His apostles, and they were stumbled by the kind of people that heard Him teach and decided to follow Him. The religious leaders considered the deeds and teachings of Jesus too unacceptable and far removed from the “god” that they created in their own image and likeness. Truth be told, beloved, how Jesus lived was a perfect expression of the nature and character of God The Father. How do we know that? Because Jesus said, “… He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).
And Who is it that redeemed us and calls us to follow Him? Jesus. Jesus said, come to Me (Matthew 11:28), follow Me (Luke 9:23), and learn of Me (Matthew 11:29). Followers of Jesus will never take or tolerate sin in themselves or others lightly. Nonetheless, their lives will always seek to demonstrate the redeeming and Christ-like example of the kindness, love, mercy, and love of God to a lost and dying world that needs to hear the glorious gospel and see the life of Jesus manifested in the lives of those who call Him Lord and Savior.