When in high school I belonged to our school temperance association. For a reason beyond my understanding, the faculty sponsors took us to a night court in Baltimore. I had never seen anything like that. They must have emptied the drunk tank just as we arrived. The courtroom was awful. I can still remember the smell of cheap booze, vomit and men and women who had not bathed in who knows how long. One by one in an assembly line they appeared before the judge, pleaded guilty to whatever charge, and were sentenced to time served and shuffled out the back door. Next, they brought in the “ladies of the night” and once again one by one they plead guilty and I remember they were each fined $50.00 and shuffled out the back door. For a teenage boy raised in a middle class home that made sure I got to church each weekend, this was another planet.
I hadn’t thought of this in years until this evening when I was reading one of my favorite books, The Desire of Ages – a life of Christ. I read the following paragraph and this all came flooding back. “Our Redeemer has opened the way so that the most sinful, the most needy, the most oppressed and despised, may find access to the Father. All may have a home in the mansions which Jesus has gone to prepare.”
As I read the above paragraph, I suddenly realized my pharisaic attitude of feeling superior to those poor souls thrust me into their group. Thankfully Jesus will forgive me. Even snobs can be redeemed. “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25