A friend of mine, loves to refer to grace as scandalous. If Jesus had come to the earth today, the headlines would be ablaze with the scandal of grace:
“King send son out of palace to live homeless among the poor.”
“King’s Son stirs controversy everywhere he goes, what is he thinking?”
“Report: King knew of son’s fate, sent him anyhow.”
“King’s son dies, claims to offer forgiveness”
The media would have a field day with Jesus. Most everything he said and did would have cause some kind of crazy headline in the supermarket tabloids as well as the mainstream media. To take it to another level, think about what the headlines would say if you were involved in the story:
“King’s son dies to forgive (insert your name here) of (insert sin here). (Your name) repeats sin.” Tagline: “King’s son vows to keep forgiving.”
The scandal of grace is that ultimately we don’t deserve it; yet we get it anyway. Then, for some reason, we think that it is acceptable for us to not extend grace and mercy to others. When we see others mess up, we demand blood. For some unexplainable reason, I’ve become a fan of the CBS News show “48 Hours Mystery.” Each week shows a crime (most of the time a murder), that has some sort of twist to it that leaves you wondering if the suspect is guilty or not. Each week the family is convinced of the suspect’s guilt, and wants the worst for them. As I watch and hear the words from the family, I wonder how I would react if I was in their shoes. Would I be able to forgive, as I hope I would, or would I be demanding blood as well?
In private, Christian schools across the country, students who decide to move in with their significant others get expelled. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for establishing boundaries and keeping the image of a Christian school positive, but I have to wonder, “where is the grace?” A student who moves in with their boyfriend or girlfriend is obviously in a place in their life where they do not feeling loved, but by their boyfriend or girlfriend. People do not usually run away from what they perceive is love. So, we have a student who only feels love from this one person, then her school who is supposed to show the love of Christ, shows them the door, and says that they are not good enough for this school?
Yes, it would be scandalous to allow the student to stay, but is it possible that through their experiencing the love of Christ day after day in school (which they will not get in a public school if they return to school at all), they might see what they is doing is wrong and change their ways? Where else are they going to get the love of God if “His people” turn their back on them? It is so much easier to make sure the the school looks good, and does not allow students to cohabitate.
What about the ministry of XXX Church? Many conservative Christians have a real hard time with this ministry because they go to the porn convention in Los Vegas, and minister to the porn stars, strippers, and other people who have a soul. We so often forget the words of Jesus:
Mark 2:17: “On hearing this, Jesus said to them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.'”
Jesus came to this earth to save the prostitutes, drug addicts, tax collectors and sinners. He hung out with the marginalized people of His society. He spent time in their homes, and getting to know them, because He loves all people. But by the grace of God any one of us could be any of these things. Thank God for scandalous grace.