Who are the people you avoid? Who are the people that if you see them on the street you attempt to avoid any kind of contact (verbal, physical, eye)? Why do we avoid these people?
In Jesus’ day, he seemed to spend a great deal of time with the people the religious folks avoided. Sinners…unclean folks…this is who Jesus would hang out with. Yet, I spend most of my time with “good, clean religious folks.” There’s a big gap in who Jesus was/is and who I am.
I’ve been dealing with a couple of texts this week that have me thinking about the people I avoid. Why do I avoid them? Is it my own fear and insecurities? Am I too concerned about what the church would think if they heard I was spending time with the outcasts of our day?
Jesus called His followers to go into the world and make disciples of all people…not just the clean folks…not just the people who are “just like me”…not just the people I’m comfortable with…the call was to share the Good News with everyone…even the people that we desire to avoid. Sometimes, the people I most desire to avoid are the very people who desperately need to hear the Good News. And, that’s a tough word to receive.