A few months back, at a Women’s Ministry Council meeting, one of the speakers shared something that I can’t stop thinking about. I’ve mentioned it before… but it is on my mind today. So, I’m guessing either I need to be reminded about it or someone needs to hear it.
Jesus knew the role Judas would play.
He knew that Judas would betray him for handful of coins.
He know that this betrayal would lead to his death.
Yet, Jesus never stopped loving Judas.
Jesus still poured into Judas.
Jesus taught Judas, broke bread with Judas.
Jesus had fellowship with Judas, and served in ministry with him.
Jesus kissed Judas and embraced him like a brother.
All the while knowing what Judas would eventually do.
Then I thought some more about Jesus and how He treated those He encountered. Jesus knew everything about every person who came into His presence. The good and the bad, their thoughts and their hearts.
Jesus loved them enough to call out the truth of what He saw, but never in a way that heaved upon them guilt or shame. Instead Jesus helped them to see their value and worth, and to choose a better path. He didn’t hurl degrading words at them, but instead challenged their accusers who were blameless to cast the first stone.
Jesus had more concern about people knowing who He was and His purpose in their life. He preached the Good News before we could even understand what that meant. He knew that the people having a relationship with Him and His Father would be the catalyst for transforming their lives. He knew that the closer He could draw them to Himself, the more they would desire to follow His ways. His thoughts would become their thoughts.
Instead of shunning the Samaritan Woman at the well… he actually went out of His way to spend time with her. He didn’t talk down to her or avoid her, like the townspeople. Instead, He intentionally chose her to reveal himself to. Through her many were saved.
Instead of allowing the woman accused of adultery to be stoned, He turned the tables on the accusers. Jesus reminded every one of them that they had their own sins to worry about, the planks to remove from their own eyes.
He allowed the broken, imperfect, sinning women… who had the faith of a mustard seed to wash his feet, anoint him with oil and perfume. To sit as His feet and learn, to witness miracles, and be healed.
If I am to be Christlike, then this is my calling. This is what I am to do. I am to love those who are broken, imperfect, sinning, with small doses of faith (if any). I am not to shun them but invite them to see the glory of God by teaching, leading, and guiding them to the Cross. My job is not to make these women feel guilty or cast upon them mantles of shame. For Christ died for whatever it is they are in the midst of. Instead, I am to remind them of freedom and God’s love. I am to show them a better way, and introduce her to a loving God who forgives those who call him Father.
I seek out the lost sheep. I open the door to the prodigal daughters. I trust that I have trained them in the way they should go, and one day they will return to it. I understand that I cannot dictate their path to salvation, nor convict their hearts. I am not the Holy Spirit, I am not qualified for that job. I do not murder them with my words or demean God’s handiwork. I remember that she is created in God’s image and to insult her is to insult the one who crafted her within her mother’s womb.
She is HIS, and He loves her. He says she is more precious than rubies. He says she will be a jewel to her husband’s crown. He says that she belongs to Him.