and as he talked with him, he went in and found many persons gathered. and he said to them, “you yourselves know how unlawful it is for a jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that i should not call any person common or unclean. so when i was sent for, i came without objection. i ask then why you sent for me.” [acts 10:27-29]


most unbelievers don’t think believers want to be around them.


the jews (God’s people) COULD NOT be with gentiles by law. the laws were varied and nuanced but bottom-line, they were not allowed to be with gentiles.

Jesus came and fulfilled the law.

do not think that i have come to abolish the law or the prophets; i have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. [matt 5:17]


by his perfect life …

by his perfect atoning death for us who could only break the law …

by his resurrection from the dead … Jesus completely fulfilled the law.


which means, we (as God’s people) are no longer separated from gentiles (those who are not God’s own by the work of Jesus).

however …

even today, most of those who are not followers of Jesus still think most believers do not want to be around them. by actions, by words, by our lives – we separate ourselves from those who don’t know Jesus. for sure, our best friends, our closest counselors, our most intimate confidants – cannot be those who are not following Jesus. by the same token, Jesus calls us to be salt and light. [matt 5:13-15] in order for that to happen, we must be in contact, around, unbelievers. we must use godly wisdom as we do life with unbelievers – but we cannot isolate or bunker ourselves away.

most unbelievers think we don’t want to be around them because – most believers stay away from unbelievers. does this describe your life? are there unbelievers you engage with in your life? are there unbelievers you engage not as projects, but as fellow humans that need to be loved, known, and need to know the love and saving work of Jesus?

Jesus engaged sinners.

the goal was not to see how close he could get to sin.

the goal was to get close to sinners so they could get close to the savior – know the savior.


Jesus wants us to engage sinners.

the goal is not to see how close you can get to sin.

the goal is to get close to sinners so they can get close the savior – and know the savior Jesus.



today, build ongoing opportunities, open my eyes, tenderize my heart, and break my heart for those who don’t know you as savior. give me divine appointments with those who don’t know you and give me your words, your love, your truth. in Jesus name – amen!


~ john ryan