I've been thinking today, about how Jesus treats sinners. Jesus was known in His time for his loving treatment of public sinners. Rather than publicly rebuking them, He reached out in kindness and forgiveness.
Zaccheus was an unethical tax collector, in a time and place where all tax collectors were automatically assumed to be sinners, and Jesus willingly and in front of a crowd of people, told Zaccheus that He would eat that day in his house. Zaccheus was so astounded by this manifestation of unearned love, that he completely turned his life around and announced that he would pay back anything he had previously cheated or stolen from anyone else.
Jesus welcomed the woman who was a known sinner (some say a prostitute) into the house of the Pharisee, where he was having dinner. She was so affected by His complete and total love for her, no matter who she was or what her failings, that she broke down and wept, washing his feet with her tears and drying them with her hair.
Rather than rebuking her, Jesus rebuked the dinner guests who were unable to see beyond her human frailty enough to welcome and love her. He told them, "Her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little."
The woman caught in adultery was about to be stoned, as was the law of the land at the time. Jesus told the crowd, "He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone." The crowd left, beginning, the Bible tells us, with the oldest first. Then, he asked the woman, "Has anyone condemned you?" She said, "No one, sir." Jesus told her, "Neither do I condemn you. Go, and sin no more."
Imagine what that must have felt like. She was caught in the act of adultery. She could have legally been stoned to death. Jesus, known for His "teaching with authority", only used that authority to publicly forgive the woman. When Jesus said, "Go," he didn't mean "Get out of here", but "You are free." He didn't condone her sin, but showed her what real Love was and set her free, charging her not to sin again.
This is how we should treat each other, for we are all sinners. Being angry and judgmental is counterproductive and is not showing Love as Jesus is Love.