It never seemed to bother Jesus if his reputation was at stake when it came to reaching the lost:
– Speaking with adulterous Samaritan women at a well alone.
– Having his feet annointed by a woman with a checkered past.
– Eating with tax collectors and “sinners.”
– Associating with and even healing Gentiles.
– Being crucified because it meant our forgiveness.
People got upset with Jesus because of these things. They made many accusations in regard to these things. Ultimately Jesus ends up on a cross, shamed and reputation shattered because of his actions and claims. For Jesus redemption trumps reputation.
Listen to how people reacted to Jesus during his ministry:
“At this the Jews began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” – John 6:41
“But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.” – Luke 19:7 when Jesus went to have a meal with Zacchaeus.
“When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.” – Luke 7:39
“Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”- Mark 2:6-7 when Jesus healed the paralytic. In Luke’s account they said – “The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” – Luke 5:21
On and on we could go. What is clear is that Jesus had a way of reaching the lost without regard to whose feathers he ruffled. Why? Because they are worth it.