In life, we tend to experience labels. Many times we battle internal labels, but some of us get public labels that we hate. One of the most significant people in the lineage of Jesus had a label that she carried for the rest of her life, and in spite of that, we discover that regardless of what our labels, our pasts or our reputations might suggest, God is able to do something big through us all, if we are willing.
Do you have any famous ancestors in your family tree? Do you have a few questionable characters in your family tree? Are you one of them? The great news is, Jesus family tree is full of them!
If you’ve ever felt you could never be good enough to be good with God, you’re right! But we learn from the lineage of Jesus that has never been based on our merits, but Gods!
Wherever Jesus went, he was followed by tax collectors and sinners- all the worst people in his society. The religious leaders complained. They assumed he condoned their sin. But Jesus never worried about being found guilty by association. Instead, he fully embodied God’s truth and God’s grace. Christians should too.
Jesus calls his followers to love the way he loved. But there’s a tension in the way he loved - it was messy, inconsistent, unfair, and confusing. So, what does it look like to love like Jesus?
When we judge nonbelievers, we lose our influence. Can you imagine where we’d be if we’d never abandoned love as our primary influence? Let’s decide together that we’re going to work to love one another better and we’re going to stop judging outsiders.
The idea that Christians can be quarrelsome, hostile, and disputatious isn’t surprising. How is it that people—people devoted to Jesus—sometimes feel driven from Christianity? Why are there Christians on all sides of cultural and political issues, arguing with non-believers and fellow Christians alike? Is this really what Jesus intended for his disciples?