I have made a series of posts reviewing the book of Matthew to see if Christ taught a gospel that demanded that his followers must be tolerant of any and all behaviors (as some claim).  So far, this effort has shown that this is not the case at all.  See previous posts here.

Matthew 8 and 9 are mostly about Jesus performing miracles according to the faith of the people.  And while this is great, I am not sure it speaks much to the purpose of my review.  There is, however, an example frequently used by those who claim that Christianity demands absolute tolerance.  This example is given Matt. 9:10-11 which reads:

 10 ¶And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.

 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?

Many will say that this shows Christ as being tolerant of the behavior of sinners.  But this depends on the definition and expectations of the tolerance.  Christ was willing to condescend to live on earth and mingle with sinful mankind for a time, and if this is all that is expected of tolerance, then yes, this example shows such tolerance.  But does this example go so far as to demonstrate that Christ was accepting of the sinful behavior of these people?  Reading a bit further shows that it does not:

12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.

13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will havemercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

So while Christ was kind and merciful to the people, he still calls them, and all of us, to repentance.  He even refers to them as sick, and in need of a physician.  This seems to me to be an excellent example of ‘hating’ the sin while loving the sinner.  And if we are to be followers of Christ, we need to be kind and merciful to all, while inviting them to change and repent of their sins.  And to do the same ourselves.

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