By being included, I can include...
Passing along, Jesus saw a man at his work collecting taxes. His name was Matthew. Jesus said, "Come along with me." Matthew stood up and followed him.Matthew 9:9-13 (The Message)
Later when Jesus was eating supper at Matthew's house with his close followers, a lot of disreputable characters came and joined them. When the Pharisees saw him keeping this kind of company, they had a fit, and lit into Jesus' followers. "What kind of example is this from your Teacher, acting cozy with crooks and riff-raff?"
Jesus, overhearing, shot back, "Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? Go figure out what this Scripture means: "I'm after mercy, not religion.' I'm here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders."
Jesus want us to show mercy and not religion... Acceptance and inclusion are part of His mercy - treating people as people... He called a Tax Collector and hung out with his friends. He called Matthew and not only accepted him but included him... and his friends - He acted cozy with crooks and riff-raff! He didn't wait until they became "acceptable" in others eyes.