value

Obscure, No name, Unseen People

Photo Credit: Sam via Unsplash

 

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.

About Jesus...

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?

People and Dignity

barcelona-traffic

 

Here is something I have been thinking about lately. As it pertains to my own life and how I interact with people and how I treat people...

I want to make a statement. A statement that I truly believe in. One that every Christian needs to identify with and live out.

 

"Before anything, the church should be a place where dignity is given to all people, through grace, in the name of Jesus."

 

This is isn't something that we do for the social good of society, although society does benefit from it, or because we earn kudos points from God. We give dignity to people because Jesus did this and told us to do what he does (John 14:12, 15, 21, & 23).

I like how Jonathan Williams  says it, " The Bible continues to amaze because it is the only book that continually legitimates the people on the bottom."

Seriously, think about all the people Jesus interacted with. He walked and talked with people from all levels of life. Jesus was even accused by the religious leaders/police of hanging out with people who were low on the status poll.

 

"The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners." (Luke 7:34)

 

When I come to God I have nothing to offer him. I don't have hands full ready to help him with whatever he needs help with. Think about it! What can I offer and infinite God who created all things, who created me? When I come to God, I come with empty hands, ready to receive all the fullness he has to offer me.

God wants us find my value and worthy in him. Our dignity is found in a risen savior who created and redeemed us. Our significance isn't based on what we do or what others think of us. We are significant because God says we are and demonstrated this when he sent his son into the world.

Which is why as Christians we should relentlessly be committed to ensuring we do the best we can with the mission with which we’ve been entrusted. We are not sent to show and tell people we are right and they are wrong.

We are sent to show and tell people that they are more than they think they are - they are loved, forgiven, and welcomed into the family of God... They belong no matter who they are.

 

Inspire people to be more than they are.

 

Joe

You Are A Valued Treasure!

Don't let the people around you define your value. Remember, the Father created you, find your value in Him. Psalm 139:13-15

I was thinking today about some of the past struggles I have had. Depression can be paralyzing and it can suck the life out of you. One of the things that I struggle with is allowing people to define my worth or my value. I guess if I were to go back into the recesses of my childhood, I might find the root cause of this heavy burden.

However, it wouldn't solve much, no matter what the professionals say about coming to terms with your past hurts. All I know is that there are moments when I let people around me define my value.

No matter what people say about you, you can count on God to value you and love you. The Father created you and knows exactly what your value is and He is treasuring every bit of you.