A couple of months ago I was on my way to a friend’s house party. Late to the event, I pulled up at the front of the house, rushed up the driveway, opened the front door and walked through the house to the backyard where I assumed all the guests would be. I passed two people watching TV in the lounge room and waved. When I finally made it out to the back, I encountered only four people sitting around a table… and I didn’t recognise any of them! “Who are you?”, said one of the strangers looking at me in complete confusion. The penny had now dropped that I had in fact walked into the wrong house! There was no party going on here. I had just opened the front door to a random person’s home and walked right on inside.
One of my favourite qualities about Jesus was how counter cultural He was. He sliced through years of rabbinical law and cultural norms with extreme and outrageous expressions of love. He went where no Rabbi had gone before.
To those at the bottom of the social heap, Jesus met them where they were at. He didn’t just tolerate people, He celebrated people. He saw beyond surface appearance, discerned with precision, and pulled out the gold in people. He used his power, not to abuse, but to raise up those around him. Not to dominate, but to empower.
Jesus didn’t shy away from those in authority either. In fact, He intentionally ruffled the religious feathers of those who cared more about following the rulebook, than loving on people. He was often direct in approach, but people responded because they could sense that His motivation was always love and His truth ignited freedom.
Nothing has changed. Jesus’ approach to people is still counter-cultural today. Our natural tendency is to want to befriend those whom we feel comfortable with. We don’t look for uncomfortable relationships. Popular culture tells us to be around those who make us look good and feel good. To befriend for what we can get. To invest into people who will give something back in return. We are trained to be attracted to what looks appealing on the outside, and dismiss what could be going on inside. BUT this is where the church steps up and we powerfully, counter-culturally love people with the very same heart as Jesus!
Go where you have never gone before. Open doors to new encounters, venture beyond your comfort zone, walk right in to where you think you can’t go, and seek out ways to serve and radically love on ALL people. This is the heart of Jesus – to rule with the heart of a servant, and serve with the heart of a king!
A daily devotion for a better way of living.