I was reading over Luke 15 this morning. Verses 1-7 tells the parable of the lost sheep:
1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. 2 And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, This man receives sinners and eats with them.
3 So he told them this parable: 4 What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost. 7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
This story is followed up by the parable of the lost coin (vs 8-10) which is a similar story with different characters.
The point of both of these stories is that God is far more concerned with the salvation of the lost than the face that His church puts on. All the Pharisees are concerned about is the way that Jesus looked. He was associating with sinners, therefore he looked bad. But the story of Jesus is a different story.
Jesus came for the lost and the broken. It is the sick that need a physician, not the well. Sometimes you have to forget about how things look and do what’s right. When you want to reach the dirty, you will probably get dirt on you. People might talk about you. You may get judged by respectable Christians.
Doing what is right and true is always more important than keeping up appearances.