The other day I had a conversation with someone about being called to minister to people no one sees—obscure, no name, unseen people.
This conversation has had me thinking a lot about the people Jesus reached out to.
If you know anything about Jesus from the Bible, then you know the stories of him touching lepers, healing the blind, and paralytics. You might even have heard the stories of Jesus reaching out the likes of tax collectors, harlots, and even the occasional religious leader gone astray.
All these incidents serve as reminders and examples for followers of Jesus to go an do likewise.
But it's, it's the obscure no name, unseen people that have me pondering—the few obscure stories about obscure people I'm questioning, thinking, and praying about.
In a way the scriptures talk of Jesus being someone people didn't value or weren't mindful of.
This is what was said of him:
“He grew up before Him like a young plant and like a root out of dry ground. He didn’t have an impressive form or majesty that we should look at Him, no appearance that we should desire Him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of suffering who knew what sickness was. He was like someone people turned away from; He was despised, and we didn’t value Him.” Isaiah 53:2-4
So it seems natural for Jesus to love those who society doesn't value or afford dignity to—the people no one thinks about or the people we turn away.
Jesus loved them and interacted, even when he had nothing to gain from them.
I know many times in my ministry and Christian walk I subconsciously or at times consciously interacted and ministered to people because there is something to gain from them—whether it was for the ministry I was leading or even for my own dignity and self-worth.
But the power...
I believe the power of our witness of Jesus lives in the fact we have nothing to gain. I know Jesus did many things and got either accolades or condemnation, but it is his conversations with obscure no name people, people who time had forgotten—its these examples that show the power of his love, grace, and forgiveness.
Take the story of the Syrophoenician women and Demoniac in Gerasenes. Neither of these people were brought to Jesus like many of the others. They either came to Jesus on their own or Jesus crossed paths with them.
Demon Possessed Man (Luke 8:26-39)... The demoniac didn't even have his own name. His name came from demons. When he was set free, the people didn't care about him, they only cared about their livestock.
Syrophoenician woman (Mark 7:24-30)... She came to Jesus herself. She was willing to be likened to a dog eating scraps fallen from a table, if only Jesus would heal her daughter. Talk about someone with no dignity left.
We, Jesus followers are people of a second chance, and some of the people who need a second chance on life the most are people who we can't even put a label on and many times we don't even see or choose not to see.
Jesus doesn’t need your cool for His kingdom. He needs you to love obscure people.
Do you have any people in your life who don't even cast a shadow? Do you notice them? Can you love them?