Wednesday, May 10, 2017
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Our friend Betty has an unusual little personal business: she puts on birthday parties for kids. She brings a pony for the children to ride as well, and a petting zoo of baby animals, including some little yellow chicks...which you don't ride. Actually she rescues those chicks from a company whose business is chicken. They've told her that they have to remove any chicks that are speckled or spotted, and Betty's willing to take some of those and raise them on her farm. The reason that company has to remove those chicks is because of what the other chickens will do to any chick who has an imperfection. They literally will peck them to death. Pity the one who is not like all the others!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Outsiders."
I wish this business of rejecting the ones who are different was just a chicken thing. Unfortunately, it's very much a people thing, too, isn't it? In fact, in your personal world-where you work, where you go to school, or in your community-I'm sure there's someone who is feeling rejected because they're perceived to be "different." Most of the time, they feel like "the outsider." We all know what that feeling is. If you belong to Jesus Christ, your mission is to do what our friend does with those spotted chicks-to give life to someone who's being rejected because they're different. Why? Because that's how your Master lived His life, and you're supposed to be following Him.
Listen, for example, to our word for today from the Word of God beginning in Luke 18:39. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus hears that Jesus is passing his way, and he begins to yell loudly for Jesus to show him mercy, which is more than anyone else did for this man, because he lived on the margins. They saw the nuisance. Not Jesus; he saw the need. It says, "Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, 'Son of David, have mercy on me!' Jesus stopped and ordered the man brought to Him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, 'What do you want Me to do for you?' 'Lord, I want to see,' he replied." And with a touch from Jesus, He did.
This is so typical of the way Jesus operated wherever He went. He walked past the cheering crowd to find the one person who needed Him most-usually someone that everyone else was treating like an outsider. Whether it was blind Bartimaeus, the hated tax collector Zacchaeus, or the sinful woman nobody else wanted to be seen with, Jesus was always there for the outsider. Are you? To Jesus, and hopefully to those of us who follow Him, the outsiders are actually the VIPs!
There's someone in your world who's feeling like the outsider right now. You might work with them. You might go to school with them. They might be in your town. They might be in your church. They might be in your own family. I'm just praying that the Lord will literally bring that person, or those persons, to your mind right now because He wants you to be His arms to go and bring that person in from the lonely margins that people have sentenced them to. Remember, the One you serve looks on the heart, not on the outward appearance (1 Samuel 16:7).
And if you've been the outsider, you of all people should want to dedicate yourself to making sure no one else has that awful feeling. You can begin to heal some of your own pain by finding some people who need your attention because they are all around you.
Slowly but surely, a cruel, selfish world is emotionally pecking to death some people who are within your reach, and it's breaking your Savior's heart. Will you open your arms to them so they can taste the love of the Savior who doesn't consider anyone an outsider? After all, when Jesus was here, He was the outsider.