People far from God

I've been meeting with a guy for lunch every week for the past several months. We went through a mentoring book together, but once we finished it decided to branch out and do something different. For the past couple of weeks, we've been reading through Matthew. Specifically, we're looking at the way Jesus led. 

One of the really delicate balances in the Christian life is trying to be separate from the world without isolating yourself to the point that you can't follow Jesus' command to "go into all the world." Jesus was different from the world, but unbelievers flocked to Him. 

Of course, the ability to make blind men see doesn't hurt when you're trying to gain a hearing. 

But there's more to it than that. How long has it been since the equivalent of a tax collector invited you over for dinner with all his tax collecting buddies (Matthew 9:10)? Matthew wasn't lame, or blind, or demon possessed... he was just a crook. Jesus didn't join him in his extortion, but I also don't get the idea that Jesus and His disciples' invitation to dinner was prompted by their picketing Matthew's tax booth.

So how did Jesus do it? That's what Daniel and I are looking for in our study.  We've seen several different things, but something that jumps out to me is Jesus' availability. Needy people were constantly approaching Jesus, and He regularly took time to help them. He listened to them, talked to them, touched them, and helped them (Matthew 4:24; 8:2; 8:5; 8:14; 8:28; 9:2; 9:14). 

Sure, he had the ability to make blind men see, mute men speak, and paralyzed men walk. As of now, God hasn't given me that power. But people do seek me out from time to time. They do ask for help in areas where I do have the power to assist. And I'm often tempted to blow them off because I have some kind of holy work to do somewhere else with the religious people. 

Jesus won a hearing with people far from God because He actually cared about people far from God. 

I guess it's not rocket science, but it's something I'm not always very good at. How about you? 


chloeadele said...

I'm not sure why, but I'm frequently invited into groups of people far from God. I imagine it's my accessibility to how I thought and felt before coming to Christ. I'm able to understand where they're coming from. In sharing how I got from my past mindset to my current one, they ask lots of questions about my faith.

My checkered past causes most to feel compassion for me, and they seem to understand why I would gravitate toward belief in God. But when I share some of the details of what has happened to me since coming to faith, they are intrigued and fascinated with my God. I understand why they don't want to worship the 'God' they've heard about - that 'God' is some man-made, delusional, cruel, gay-bashing, Big Brother-type creature. I'm always stunned by people's descriptions of God. Not even close.