Jesus is a friend of sinners. We hear this frequently about Jesus’ ministry in sermons, in songs, in comments by believers. The comments are along the lines of ‘Jesus hung out with prostitutes and tax collectors’. Did he? Large crowds followed Jesus. I am sure there were people of all kinds within these crowds. The Bible does not indicate that Jesus went to these kinds of people, but rather that they came to him. Jesus entered a community, people heard that he was there and they brought their sick, their demon possessed, their crippled, blind, deaf, and lame to him to be healed. People came to him to hear his teaching.
Jesus hung out with his disciples. They were with him wherever he went. He took them aside and revealed things to them about the Father. He expounded on and explained his parables to them. He took only three disciples with him up on the mount where he was transfigured before them. In the Bible Jesus exhorts some whom he healed to ‘go and sin no more’.
The apostle Paul exhorts believers many times in the NT to bring forth the fruits of salvation and of their need to turn away from their past sins and to no longer indulge in these sins. Paul explains that our past sinful behavior was of the old man, but we who believe are made new creations. We are to clothe ourselves with the ‘new man’. We are to love righteousness and to flee evil. We are to bring forth righteousness and justice from out of our inner being, to hate sin.