Imagine for a moment that you’re speaking in public to a person who’s known by the neighborhood that he or she is a dishonest person, a thief, a hustler, a harlot, a homosexual/gay or simply an immoral person. Do you realize the avalanche of gossip whirling around the neighborhood condemning you for associating with a decadent person? What a shame! You’d be on the lips of people for weeks; the hot news for the local tabloids!
That’s exactly what Jesus endured as he faced the “pious” and “moral” people of his day and was relentlessly defamed. Jesus protected a prostitute from being stoned; he visited lepers and touched them; he spent time with a woman in public who was living with a man that wasn’t even her husband; he went to lunch with “cheap” people and even befriended and entered the dwellings of despised men.
How could Jesus communicate with such people? He didn’t just greet the lowest of the low of society on the street, he actually came to like them and visit them constantly. My God! Jesus was one stumbling block to every self-righteous man who was trying to live a clean life by keeping away from unclean men and women.
But did Jesus come to heal the healthy or did he venture to heal the sick? The irony is that since the Fall there has been not a single healthy person on earth – only sick ones.
Hence, what is the good news all about? Aren’t we called to spread Jesus' aroma to all living souls around us?