Jesus teaches unconditional love without favoritism and without preferential treatment. Jesus wants us to learn from other people who are different from us. Perhaps people from other neighborhoods, perhaps other cultures and perhaps other religions.
Jesus sat with the poor and the sinners, and tax collectors, the ones most ostracized in society. Today, Jesus still sits with the most ostracized in order to share His love and acceptance with whoever will receive Him.
If us, as followers of Jesus have received such perfect grace and redemption, then we are to live it out as well. You might ask “How? How can we live out the grace that Jesus gives us”?
One answer: Through a personal friendship with Jesus, and not through our agendas.
Friendship implies intimacy, a dynamic closeness with God that is open to being spontaneous.
Let’s not judge or even turn the other way because of ignorance or fear. Instead, let’s pray that God shows us how Jesus sees that person. And the next time we see a person who is different, let’s ask Jesus to open our eyes to the love He has for them instead of automatically making assumptions about them.
Jesus Christ is an inclusive God. He died on the cross for every single person. He is no respecter of persons. He shows no favoritism. The Creator of the universe gave his only Son to die for you personally, for me personally and for every person, personally. Jesus died innocent so that as God, He can have a direct relationship with each and every one of us, if we accept that offer.
Jesus Christ is an inclusive compassionate God. Are we intentional in showing Jesus’ unconditional love to others? Are we imparting healing and life instead of condemnation? Are we following Jesus’ teachings, walk and life? Are we His inclusive followers or do we exclude some people from His saving grace?
Jesus died on the cross not only for those going to church, not only for you and me. Jesus died for every single person: Christian and non-Christian, native and foreigner, rich and poor, your race and all other races, your ethnicity and all other ethnicities, your sexuality and all other sexualities, your religion and all other religions, your neighbor and all other neighbors, your friend, and even your enemy. If Jesus teaches us to love our enemies, how much more love do we owe every stranger that we encounter, especially those who are ostracized in society?
Dear Lord, please forgive our sins and our misrepresenting you. God, help us to get out of your way. May your light shine through your people so that everyone may know you and so that everyone may be included in your family. Help us to be more like you, Jesus. Help us to love unconditionally in your Spirit. Amen.