Here's this week's Bible study blog entry for i.ucc:
The reality that Jesus showed extravagant love for those who were outcast from society is something we love to talk about. In the United Church of Christ our tagline of “No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey – you’re welcome here,” is born out of the understanding of Jesus love that rejects no one. This week’s Bible reading from Matthew 9:9-13, 18-26 features Jesus reaction to three who were outcast in society.
A tax collecter
A woman who had been bleeding for 12 years
A dead girl.
In one way or another, each of these people was ostracized. A tax collector was considered a “bottom feeder”; A woman bleeding for years was “unclean” by the standards of the day and she not only should not have been touching a rabbi, but also should have been separated from everyone. Dead bodies should never have been touched at all.
Matthew the tax collector chose what he did for a living. The woman had done nothing to deserve separation. And all the little girl had done was gotten sick -- and now her family was going to be separated because they were in contact with her dead body.
In each case Jesus obliterated the boundary in favor of love.
What’s you’re experience with Jesus obliterating the boundaries used to make people outcast in favor of love?