Well, we need to go back a bit first to a week last Tuesday's bible study at Zac's. The leaders of the early church had been discussing whether circumcision was necessary for Christians; they came to the conclusion it wasn't. 'After all,' James (brother of Jesus) said, 'let's not make it difficult for gentiles to become Christians.'
Put another word in the place of gentiles - addicts, prostitutes, Muslims, homosexuals, take your choice from any number - and the message is the same for today's church. Let's not give people numerous hoops to jump through. Concentrate on what Jesus said was important: loving God and your neighbour as yourself. Many of us have enough trouble loving ourselves.
Now let's go to prison last Sunday morning. The chaplain was talking first about the good Samaritan (another story from Jesus about what is a neighbour) and then the sisters, Mary and Martha. Jesus had gone to visit them and, while Martha was busy being the hostess, Mary sat at Jesus' feet to listen to what he had to say.
This was going against the ways of the day when only the men could listen to a rabbi teach and a woman's place was to wait and serve. Martha was tired and grumpy and she complained to Jesus that Mary should be helping her not sitting around doing nothing but Jesus replied by saying that Mary had chosen the best way.
In other words he was turning custom on its head by treating ethnic minorities (the Samaritan) and women equally with Jewish men.
He is such a lovely man/God. He turns everything upside down. 'So the last will be first ...'