I've been watching "Sons of Anarchy," the fifth season, and I started wondering what the draw was to a life like that.
I know it's just a TV show, but I've also read some books about motorcycle gangs like the Sons. Some of the men involved really are terrible people and have a need for violence and death. However, some of them seem like they have good hearts and are just caught up in something that is worse than they want it to be.
Whenever someone on "Sons of Anarchy" wants to leave the life, he decides not to because of his bond with the other members. They're like a family, and they don't want to leave family.
There was a funeral in one episode, and it showed some of the people who weren't members but would do anything for the club because it was like a family. There was a man with a mental disorder that made everyone else shun him. There was a porn star. There was an old ex-cop who didn't have anyone to turn to. The club took them in, and they can't leave the terrible life because they have no one else.
Don't you wish the church was like that - a place where people could go when they have no one else and feel so at home they don't want to leave? How many more people would be drawn to Jesus if we just showed the same acceptance that a motorcycle gang does?
That's exactly the example that Jesus set. He held an extremely high standard for himself - perfection - but he didn't avoid people who didn't live up to that. He just accepted them. And because of that, they loved him.
Mary Magdalene had seven demons cast out of her, and we know that she had a bad life. She just wanted to find acceptance, and Jesus showed that to her. Because of that, she would have done everything for him, even throw a year's wages onto his feet in the form of expensive perfume.
You wouldn't think you could see Jesus in a motorcycle gang. But there's lessons everywhere you look.