Jesus sought people out and restored people that were living in sin. He didn’t condemn or manipulate. He didn’t hate or accuse. He always showed love and compassion mixed with grace and mercy.
A few years ago, I watched something that had aired on national TV. It was about how, twenty years ago, a young woman was quickly coming to fame within the Christian community. However, she had a child outside of wedlock and stated how the Christian community rejected her.
Hearing that made me angry and sad. The audience reaction was gasps, it wasn’t good at all. How many of those people will now never step a foot into a church simply because of what happened on that national TV show? That one thing happened so long ago, yet affected peoples eternities that day – not to mention the woman that’s had to walk her life out carrying that shame.
Now, I want to try to give the people involved 20 years ago some benefit of the doubt; however, a lot of this falls on them. Was it for the sake of money she was put out there in the first place and not discipled? Was there no one around her as she rose in popularity? While it doesn’t really matter where the blame is held, I want to know why a person, created in the image of God, was thrown out? Where was the restoration? Where was the grace? Where was the life and freedom through Christ? Ministry can be messy sometimes, and expecting people to not be broken and sinful is a fallacy. Is the face of our ministry more important than the people we reach?
Jesus was against the pharasieses because of the things they did to keep people away from God. They exploited the poor and made it almost impossible to come to God with their religious requirements.
“If I’m being Jesus to the world, are they seeing the right Jesus?” It’s an interesting question. With regards to the woman on national TV, Jesus did address a very similar question: one where all of the woman’s accusers walked away. Jesus loved them, and showed compassion while they were in sin in tough situations.
There are so many times in scripture where people were in the same spot as this woman and Jesus welcomed them in, loved them, and brought them out of sin into life by showing he cared for them. There’s just no reason why we, the Church today, shouldn’t be known this way as well.