We must start where Jesus started, with muddied, wretched-feeling people. Jesus didn’t start with the mud, but the hope of this “good news” about a God of grace who offers damaged people a relationship to become the people they were intended to be (we all need that). . . . . . . . . .Think about it: Jesus didn’t confront Zacchaeus about his thieving practices, he offered relationship, and that changed Zach! Jesus didn’t make sure the woman at the well understood that sex outside of marriage is wrong (though he taught that it was at other times), he offered her living water that made the muddy water distasteful. Jesus didn’t remind the woman caught in adultery that she broke the Ten Commandments – he didn’t have to – he set her free from condemnation so that she could “go and sin no more” (John 8:11 NLT). He offered a chance to live a new life! Relationship was Jesus’ solution to sin. Can we offer restorative relationship to very muddied people? That’s what it takes to be like Jesus.
(from Mud and the Masterpiece)