For by grace you have been saved through faith; and not of yourselves, it is a gift of God. Ephesians 2:8
Their spiritual processors could not run the “Jesus application.” Their programs just couldn’t recognize a man who made it a habit to connect with the sexually immoral, physically unclean, and ethnically impure.
Reject or accept, avoid or engage, steer clear or draw near, pass over or pick out. This is the language of exclusion and inclusion. Think junior high, think picking out teams on the playground as a little boy. The emotions there were real and raw. I don’t know who makes it onto your private quarantine list, maybe a homosexual co-worker, and obese neighbor, an alcoholic uncle, or you’re out there Son-in-law. Just think of someone you shy away from.
If we are like most Christians we need to let go of our fears and let Jesus take over. We aren’t by nature radical, go-out-of our-way connectors, especially with people not like us. We prefer the sanitized and tidy.
Think of the leper who Jesus reached out to touch. This man hadn’t experienced touch in years. His comment was oh no, Lord. Now, put yourself where you were when Jesus reach out and touched you. We all were contaminated sinners when Jesus reach out and touched us. Spiritually we were no different than the leper. I want the excluded to feel Him when they collide with me. We all have the velvet touch of Jesus, He has not neglected to give this to all of us.
Father, thank you for giving me people who I can touch with your grace.