Outreach and Reputation Risking

It never seemed to bother Jesus if his reputation was at stake when it came to reaching the lost:

– Speaking with adulterous Samaritan women at a well alone.

– Having his feet annointed by a woman with a checkered past.

– Eating with tax collectors and “sinners.”

– Associating with and even healing Gentiles.

– Being crucified because it meant our forgiveness.

People got upset with Jesus because of these things. They made many accusations in regard to these things. Ultimately Jesus ends up on a cross, shamed and reputation shattered because of his actions and claims. For Jesus redemption trumps reputation.

Listen to how people reacted to Jesus during his ministry:

“At this the Jews began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” – John 6:41

“But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.” – Luke 19:7 when Jesus went to have a meal with Zacchaeus.

“When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.” – Luke 7:39

“Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”- Mark 2:6-7 when Jesus healed the paralytic. In Luke’s account they said – “The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” – Luke 5:21

On and on we could go. What is clear is that Jesus had a way of reaching the lost without regard to whose feathers he ruffled. Why? Because they are worth it.


About mattdabbs
I am a minister, husband, and father. My wife and I live and minister in Saint Petersburg, Florida. My primary ministry responsibilities include: small groups, 20s and 30s, involvement, and adult education.

4 Responses to Outreach and Reputation Risking

  1. Tucker says:

    Great stuff as I struggle with this very thing. Today’s modern world strives for “Status” and pushes away someone with “stigma”. What does it matter anyway? We create it all in our own mind. I enjoy your stuff.

  2. weswoodell says:

    I’ve thought this too – check it out: http://campusministryunited.com/audio/j4.mp3

    From a lesson I did at Harding’s All School Retreat.

  3. Terry says:

    This reminds me of what I was involved in with a co-worker about a year ago. I wrote about it at http://adisciplesthoughts.blogspot.com/2008/05/because-you-didnt-give-up-on-me.html. I hope it helps others to risk their reputations and their churches’ reputations to reach people who have blown it in life.

  4. Pingback: Friday Finds Sept 26 2008 Evangelism Coach

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