Jesus met his people right where they were at. He didn't wait until they had changed or cleaned up their act to approach them. He simply dove in.
He knew Judas would betray him--and yet--he loved him. He ate with him, broke bread. He kept him close--however Judas chose to step back and distance himself.
Jesus knew Peter would deny him three times. And yet--he also knew he would step out of the boat on top of the water. He did not wait to reach out to Peter until after he denied him. He didn't have a long drawn out conversation about how hurt Jesus was by Peter's denial. They didn't go to therapy together to talk about their feelings and get over it. Jesus loved him.
Jesus loved unconditionally. The friends who broke a hole in a roof to bring their friend to Jesus...They did not turn around and go home because there was a crowd and they could not get in to see Jesus. They did not turn away in defeat. If the door is closed to you--forget the window--just tear a hole in the roof. How much love did they show for their friend? Willing to risk getting into trouble, basically vandalizing property--to bring a friend to Jesus! I always laugh amusingly when I imagine Jesus standing there preaching to the people with dust from the ceiling falling on his head because those guys are creating a hole in the roof up there.
How far will your love take you? We are humanly limited in our capacity to love, I believe. But when we allow Christ's love to move in and through us--there are no bounds or limits.
Christ's love can cover a multitude of sins when our human memory brings them right back to us in an instant. Christ's love believes when we doubt. Christ's love is patient when we are ready to throw in the towel. It is kind and gentle when we want to be abrasive and spiteful. It.never.fails....when we realize we have not been victorious.
Accepting people for who they are and the place they are in at the moment is love--while we humanly demand change--I believe love loves and trusts the Holy Spirit-God-to do the changing. I don't believe we are responsible to change others. But I do believe we have a Christian calling to LOVE.