Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. – Jeremiah 1:5
The Israelites had a lot of enemies. Some of those enemies were the Ammonites – a cruel group of people who did not worship God, sacrificed their living babies to a false image, and according to Amos 1:13, they ripped open the stomachs of pregnant women in the lands that they conquered. One day, a Gileadite outcast named Jephthah, rose to leadership in Israel and became a judge for six years. During this time, Judges 11:29 tells us that ‘the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah’ and he made a vow that if the Lord gave him victory over the Ammonites he would sacrifice the first thing that greeted him upon his return home to the Lord.
As the only perfect person to ever walk the earth, one would think that the last type of people Jesus the Christ would want his name associated with were sinners and transgressors. Yet that is exactly how He is depicted in Matthew 11:19: