Throughout His ministry, Jesus often took flack from the religious leaders for pursuing those labeled as “outcasts” by the community. He went out of His way to reach those who thought they were beyond reach to show just how extravagant and relentless His love really is.
God's grace levels the playing field. Throughout the course of our Outcasts series, we've seen Jesus showing love to the kinds of people that society deemed "unlovable." In our culture where social status and wealth can be king, Jesus' love knocks down the walls, removes the barriers, pulls out the pedestals and shows us that we are ALL outcasts and desperately in need of His grace. But through His death on the cross, He raises
When the religious insiders and the outcasts meet face-to-face, the situation can become uncomfortable. When Jesus is dining in the house of Simon, a Pharisee, and a "sinful" woman comes in and starts making a scene with her love for Jesus, the insiders don't know what to do. As we watch this scene unfold, we see Jesus again demonstrate His great love for broken people - because broken people are all that there are.
In His most famous parables of the lost sheep, lost coin, and lost son, Jesus tells us about God's love for the outcast. When Jesus meets Zacchaeus He puts those words into action. Jesus demonstrates God's incredible love for someone who is despised and unloved by his community and that incredible love changes Zacchaeus forever.
In Jesus' three most famous parables, He tells some stories that are insane and impractical from a worldly perspective. But while these stories aren't how the world works, they are how the Kingdom of God works. Depending on where you stand in the crowd, Jesus has two different purposes for telling these stories - He wants to either comfort you or convict you, and both are good.