A Strange King: Friend of Sinners / Luke 7:36-50

Now, the outward works of love are very great, as when we place our goods in the service of another. But the greatest is this, that I surrender my own righteousness and make it serve for the sins of my neighbor. For, outwardly to render service and help by means of one’s goods is love only in its outward aspect; but to render help and service through one’s righteousness, that is something great and pertains to the inward man. This means that I must love the sinner and be his friend, must be opposed to his sins and earnestly rebuke them, yet I must love him with all my heart as to cover his sins with my righteousness.
— Martin Luther

Jesus Christ, our strange king, was the friend of sinners. Tax collectors, prostitutes, and social outcasts were drawn to Him to hear about the Kingdom of God. This King not only received the "dregs of society" and ate with them, but reached out and invited them to follow him. What's astounding is that being God Incarnate, Jesus is God's Holiness or Righteousness Incarnate. What may have attracted sinners was their experiencing, in Jesus, God's authentic Righteousness, in contrast to the perverted caricature of it the Pharisees displayed. Righteousness was now a Person who proclaimed mercy not judgment, and came not to condemn, but to seek and save that which was lost. Christians are Christ's Body, indwelt by, and united to Him, who is True Eternal Righteousness. Our Strange King invites us, then, to be His welcoming and forgiving Righteousness, the very Righteousness of God enfleshed, to the broken, fallen world of outcasts around us."