Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.” (Matthew 21:31)
All through his ministry Jesus was challenged and opposed by religious people, in this case the chief priests and elders. In announcing and embodying the Kingdom of God, Jesus shattered expectations of what the reign of God should look like. His was and is and upside down, inside out, topsy turvy kingdom – one in which the first are last, and the last are first. Jesus’ kingdom is one where love-starved outsiders – tax collectors and prostitutes – get the inside running.
Too often I judge a book by its cover, people by how they appear – or more particularly, how they measure up to MY standards. Thank God I am not God! God sees every person worthy of love, grace, mercy and inclusion in his kingdom. These last chapters of Matthew remind me of this again and again. That I would see people with the eyes of grace! And respond to them accordingly. This week I am committed to paying closer attention to those I would easily walk past.
Thank you Jesus that your kingdom upends expectations and shatters preconceptions. Help me to reflect your kingdom values in loving those on the margins.