Acceptability

In all of his relationships, Jesus broke through the boundaries of likes and dislikes, social propriety and religious acceptability, which characterized Palestinian society in the first century….It began with Jesus’ own roots in Galilee, which marked him as a man from the margins.  He was not identified with the religiously prominent and respected circles of his day.  He came from “the wrong side of the tracks.” …His choice of disciples continued the pattern of incarnational reversion of the acceptable structures of society.  He called people to follow him who were ritually unclean (fishermen), nationally suspect (publicans), and politically dubious (zealots).  He demonstrated the revolutionary character of the in-breaking reign of God by reaching out and touching lepers, by conversing publicly with women, healing the children of Gentiles, allowing prostitutes to touch him, and going to parties with acknowledged con men….From very early on it was clear that the church was to challenge the world as a community in which there was “no longer Jew or Greek, slave or free, male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3: 28)

Darrel Guder, The Incarnation and the Church’s Witness

Love Wins