What does it mean that Jesus is a friend of sinners?
Here's the answer:
Jesus loves sinners and wants them to believe in Him so they can be forgiven of their sins.
Everyone who has ever lived has been a sinner (Romans 3:23). God can’t be around sin, and He must punish it because sin breaks His laws. The punishment for sin is death (Romans 6:23). But since God loves everyone, He wanted to make a way we could be forgiven of our sin. So He sent His Son, Jesus, to earth to take the punishment for our sins. Jesus would do this by living a completely sinless life and then dying in our place on a cross.
Jesus is a friend of sinners because not only did He die in our place, He also promises that everyone who believes in Him and chooses to follow Him will be forgiven of all their sin. This forgiveness will allow believers to go to heaven to be with Jesus when they die (John 3:16).
When Jesus was on earth, He showed how He is a friend of sinners by spending time with them. He knew they needed to know about Him. So instead of ignoring the "bad" people like some of the Jews did, He would hang out with these people and even eat meals with them (see the story of the tax collector Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1–10). Jesus loves sinners very much and wants all of them to come to Him (2 Peter 3:9).
Have you become a part of Jesus’ family by believing in Him? If not, you can read more about that here.
"The Son of Man (Jesus) came to look for the lost and save them" (Luke 19:10).
"[Jesus said,] 'The Spirit of the Lord is on me. He has anointed me to tell the good news to poor people. He has sent me to announce freedom for prisoners. He has sent me so that the blind will see again. He wants me to free those who are beaten down" (Luke 4:18).