The Gospels are clear about the company Jesus kept.
We know he was criticized for hanging out with tax collectors and sinners. Today, he would probably hang out with people who try to recruit for ISIS and with gay people.
We know he enjoyed the company of working men; fisherman like Peter, Andrew, James, and John. These men didn’t fish for pleasure; they fished for a living. Today he would hang out with truck drivers, people on the assembly line, electricians, plumbers, and carpenters.
We know a group of rich women were part of his circle: Joanna and Susanna wrote the checks that kept his ministry going. Today Jesus would be at the country club, seated at a table by the window, talking to women about God’s plan for their lives.
We know Mary Magdalene, having been delivered from seven demons, was in the inner circle too. We don’t know exactly what impact the demons had on her, but I bet everyone who knew her thought she was seriously disturbed. Today, Jesus would be completely at home with people who are disturbed, maybe even diagnosed. He would bring them peace as well.
We know Jesus talked a lot with religious leaders and scholars. They would ask questions, and he would blow up their systems of theology by talking about a relationship with God. Today, Jesus would be at home in the pastor’s study helping the pastor re-write his sermon or in a seminary, taking over a class.
We know Jesus spent time with sick people: the lepers, the deformed, the blind, the lame, and the epileptics. He healed them. Today, Jesus would be up at the hospitals, offering the comfort of His power, healing the sick, and emptying the beds.
We know Jesus spent time with His disciples, the people who decided to follow Him wherever he went, who decided to learn from him and who wanted to be like Him. Today, Jesus loves to hang out with people who want to follow him, learn from Him, and be like Him.
Here’s the truth to recognize: Jesus never excluded people. He was comfortable with all kinds of people, who had all kinds of issues. Which means, of course, that Jesus is comfortable with you. No matter what you do, what perspective you bring, no matter what system of belief you have, Jesus would be comfortable with you.
We are left with this question: If Jesus is comfortable hanging out with all kinds of people, shouldn’t His church be filled with all kinds of people too? If it’s not, what are we doing wrong?