Many people were scandalized by Jesus’ friendship with people they found wanting. Those people didn’t meet the high expectations of the law or of society. But Jesus said, “You are forgiven.”
Jesus said, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today” (Luke 19:5b). I think about the stories of Jesus with women who were ostracized for breaking purity laws or crossing boundaries of class and gender. Plenty of his disciples thought Jesus shouldn’t bother stooping to their concerns, arguing that it didn’t befit his status as Rabbi and Messiah. But Jesus said of the woman who anointed him in Bethany: “Truly I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her” (Mark 14:9).
The message is excerpted from “Making Conversion Stick” by Meghan Johnston Aelabouni in the January/February 2015 issue of Gather magazine.