In my new book, Dirty God, I emphasize the humanity of Jesus’ life, the humanity of those he spent time with, and the inhumanity of the world we live in today.
Grace ties it all together.
I believe that having gotten grace from Jesus, Christians ought to be known – above everything else – as those who give grace to the world.
And grace is no clearer in the Bible than it is in Jesus’ own ministry, and it’s no clearer there than in the type of company he kept.
Jesus recruited brash, working class fishermen who were tough as nails (Peter, and co.). He intentionally invited a former tax collector (among the most hated people in the world), Matthew, and a member of a radical political party that believed in using terrorism to oust the Romans, Simon the Zealot.
Within this group of radicals, he also invited a frank realist named Philip (an accountant, always telling Jesus what he could NOT do with a few fish), and a guy with the spiritual gift of pessimism (Doubting Thomas). Then there was Peter’s little brother, Andrew, who – without a doubt – had serious issues from growing up in that bombastic shadow.