He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities--Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons.
They say, 'Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a Friend of tax collectors and sinners!'
Jesus did not walk away from sinners. Instead, He walked toward them.
Consider two hopeless sinners: Mary Magdalene, a woman possessed by seven demons, and Zacchaeus, a man possessed by a greedy occupation. He was a tax collector. To Jews, tax collectors were considered extortionists and Roman collaborators.
Mary and Zacchaeus became hope-filled disciples: She, arguably the #1 female follower of Jesus: the first person to see the resurrected Christ--and he, who received Jesus 'joyfully.' Zacchaeus said: 'Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold' (Luke 19:6,8).
Consider the #1 priority of Christ: 'I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance' (Matthew 9:13, Mark 2:17, Luke 5:31). In the Book of John, Jesus Himself is called a sinner (see John 9:16-24). Obviously, sinners have status in the Eyes of God.
Now consider the entertainment industry. We're struck by a head-on collision with in-your-face sin: idolatry, mysticism, pride, lust, vanity, violence and addiction. Big mouths speak big words in big spotlights. Big stars cast big shadows on small children. We're surrounded by exasperating examples and damaging divas.
Shall we turn away from them, or turn the other cheek to them? Shall we hate them or love them, shun them or embrace them, follow them harshly or lead them gently--by kindness?
Jesus' #1 priority must become the #1 priority of actors, models and talent for Christ. It's called the Great Commission. With an unprecedented speed of delivery, the devices of the enemy (media) will be used by God (mediation). Mediation means reconciliation.
Christ 'Gave us the ministry of reconciliation... not counting people's sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us' (2 Corinthians 5:18-20).
'And He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature' ' (Mark 16:15). But 'How will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!' ' (Romans 10:14-15).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: you bring good news of good things. So keep your dancing shoes polished. The only sinner you're allowed to stomp on is Satan. As for your misbehaving cousins? Walk toward them and step lightly.
To Be Continued...
* The story of Zacchaeus, the tax collector: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2019:1-10&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Priorities series.