Night Court

When I was seventeen years old our high school temperance society went, as part of larger trip, to a night court in Baltimore. The atmosphere was seedy, dark and an amazing snapshot of city government at work.  The judge was wearing a robe and did have a gavel.  For a few hours we watched a parade of very scruffy men and women brought in from the drunk tank, being represented (?) by a court appointed attorney.  Two men were brought in still bloodied from bashing on each other.  The highlight for a seventeen year old boy were the ladies of the night. They were not strangers to the court.  The judge called each by name, asked each how she was and then fined each one $10.  I had never seen anything like this.  I grew up in church hearing about Jesus spending time with such people.  But this was all new for a kid who grew up in the sheltered care of a loving father and mother.
If Jesus had been running a political campaign these were the last people He should have been seen with.  It was no wonder the religious leadership said this man can’t be our messiah.  Look who he parties with.  To be honest most of us would gasp if such a conglomeration showed up in church.  It is easy for us to sit in our comfortable middle class homes and say, “Oh, no.  We would welcome them.”  No.  No we wouldn’t.  We can say we would while not smelling them and not hearing the language.  The wonder of this is Jesus did welcome them.  He told us He came for them.  And He came for us.  Actually we are the hardest ones for Him to reach because most of us think we are okay.