The State of Mind of the Sinners with whom Christ Dined?

Salvete, omnes!

(First, if this thread is not placed in the correct forum, please feel free to move it.)

I have recently heard the argument that the sinners with whom Christ was wont to dine already had the desire to repent of their sins even before Christ asked them to dine with Him.

This would seem to nullify the argument that many make that it is fine to associate with those who are openly sinning which is largely based on the episodes where Christ dined with sinners.

The argument might be a valid one. After all, why would these sinners, presumably knowing who Christ was and, at least generally, what He preached and that what He preached was moral principles, desire to dine with Him in the first place if they knew their sin might be condemned, as it seemed that this sin was publicly know (by the Pharisees, at any rate)? Surely these sinners would have know that Christ would have known of their sin if also the Pharisees (and presumably others) did?

Still, when the Pharisees confronted Christ about his dining with sinners, He did not at all say that they had repented. He stated that it was the sick that needed a physician, not the healthy. So, presumably, at least not all of the sinners whom He invited had either the desire to repent or had already repented. Christ did not respond to the Pharisees that they had already repented so it was fine. He did not even say that they were leaning toward repentance. He made no effort to indicate this to the Pharisees in any way. Rather, he still called them “sick” and in need of the Great Physician.

I have always imagined in thsi scenario that Christ Himself invited these people to dine with Him, rather than them requesting to do so. Perhaps this plays a role here. Perhaps they themselves were surprised that Christ would invite them, though, again, there is no direct Scriptural indication of this. Perhaps they were surprised that He was showing them this type of kindness. Perhaps this even led to a greater number of them repenting.

So, what are we to make of all this? Were the sinners that ate with Christ not yet necessarily repentant before they ate with Him? Were they repentant? Were they leaning toward repentance? Please support your answers.


So exactly where did you HEAR this???

Specifics please. Where and by whom?

“All” of what? It’s a non thing,

We do not know.

Scripture says nothing. Therefore, any position you take is your own speculation. Neither position can be supported from Scripture and Church Tradition is silent on the matter. Lacking any doctrinal definition, believe whatever you want.

Much ado about nothing.

Misty, I will attempt to answer with charity, as I try to answer all posts with charity. That said, do you really think you are going to start a deep theological thread about a completely unknowable thing like what was in the mind of people who died two thousand years ago, based not on bible quotes, but what you think someone interpreted Paul (because it’s always Paul) as saying?

I know people come to these boards for many reasons, but I also respectfully think that many posters - based on what they write - appear to be losing patience with your chronically very long posts which often have no real answer, and I suspect some people think you are writing not because you want a deep discussion, but because you think you have some brilliant new way of interpreting some passage Paul wrote and want everyone to see how brilliant it is (I happen to one such person).

Please give these things some though going forward. Thank you.

A few folks asked where I heard the argument I mentioned. I heard it as a response to one of my other thrads on associating with sinners, even grave and deliberate ones, and the appropriateness of this as well as doing them kindnesses, even “unnecessary” ones.

I started this thread because I think it is important to this very issue – whether we are permitted to associate with sinful people, even though they may be deliberately and gravely sinning and even though we may not condone their sin. (This is qualified by noting that we would have already made our disagreement with them known.)

As I say, a lot of people use the argument that “Christ dined with sinners” as a justification for the appropriateness of associating with such sinners. So, I think, the state of mind of these sinners with whom Christ dined is, indeed, quite important, as what state their minds are in pertains to the argument that folks who make the positive association argument make.

Hope this helps.

If you find any sinless people to hang out with, be sure to let us know.
Christ came to redeem sinners. You needn’t worry about what He should have done or would have done.
He did what he did out of mercy.
If all the good people of the world decided to shun the misguided sinners, then where the evangelism?

You ask questions that are not really questions but a vehicle for your own opinions, which have no basis in authentic Catholic teaching. And when people answer, it’s never good enough for you. :shrug:
Enroll in a theology class at a Catholic university or join RCIA.

The rosary is a powerful meditative prayer in which you can contemplate this mystery that you put forth. Let us know what you glean from it.

There people go, judging my intentions again when they scarcely know me. My intent is to be sure that my own understanding is correct and, if it is not, to alter it. So, I test, test, test, test every possible scenario to see if what I hold true stands up. This is what I am doing in most of these threads. I only wish others would focus on the questions/issues themselves instead of my motivation, to begin with. For, such questions could surely be answered without recourse to a knowledge of my motivation.

At any rate, I am fr from questioning the appropriateness of Christ’s actions, but I am rather questioning (and testing) the rightness of our own when many of us are fine with associating with even grave sinners who may even be knowingly sinning. Should we? Should we not? The answer very often hinges for many on passages speaking of Christ dining with sinners. Whether Christ did a kindess to sinners who may or may not have had intention to repent is the issue here. Surely, indeed, Christ intended to preach to them of righteousness, but perhaps He also wished to show them a kindness by offering to dine with them, whether or not they ultimately repented. That is part of the issue here. Are we permitted to associate with even grave and intentional sinners, inside or outside the Church? The answer very often hinges on our passages in question.

I hope folks can clearly see this now.

I think we get it.

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