There he goes again!
These likely were the words of bewilderment uttered by Peter, or Thomas, or Judas, or any one of the Twelve, as Jesus associated himself with yet another outcast. The Rabbi had established a tendency of encountering and even searching out such people . . . lepers, cripples, the blind, the demon-possessed, prostitutes, Gentiles, tax collectors, the poor, and others.
Nothing and no one seemed to hold Jesus back. He did not recoil in horror as a known "woman of the street" wiped his feet with her hair. He did not flee as lepers came toward him--on one such occasion he even reached out his hand to touch the unclean. He did not look with disdain upon a Samaritan woman he met at Jacob's well. He accepted an invitation to dine with a tax collector. He was not horrified when a wild, demon-possessed man charged at him and his disciples as they disembarked from a sea voyage.
Jesus did not avoid contact with people because of physical ailment, or ethnicity, or occupation, or social standing, or morality. Jesus went freely with all sorts of people--people considered to be outcasts, people considered to be unclean, people considered to be sinners, and even people considered to be popular and respectable.
Jesus cared about people, and his mission was not reserved for only the well-to-do or for the righteous. Jesus came to love and to make a difference in the lives of people from all walks of life. And he calls us to do the same. Will you love as he loved?