For Jesus, action in response to the call of God marks what it means to be a member of God’s family. Relationships in God’s family are couched in terms of doing God’s will. At this point in the story, the will of God is not defined. Jesus offers another invitation of hospitality that is about meeting people where they are, accepting anyone who is interested in God’s kingdom and responding to need no matter who is asking or when or how they ask. We have to trust Jesus and the invitation to join him and believe that together we will take part in spreading the Good News of God’s kingdom.
Instead of asking why Jesus got so much flack, we should ask ourselves why we aren’t getting more flack. Why aren’t we pushing the boundaries of what is socially and religiously acceptable in order to reach more folks with the always surprising, often upsetting, unimaginably gracious and ridiculous love of Jesus? If that’s the kind of love we want to offer, we must ask ourselves if we are communicating that message in our words and our deeds loudly and clearly, both in the church and in the community.