I’ve been studying the life of Jesus in the New Testament book, the Gospel of Matthew, for the past several months now. It’s been an incredible journey of learning and life transformation for me in several different ways. Just this week, it struck me, just how radical Jesus was. And I wondered about my own ministry. What if I truly had a ministry like Jesus? I’m not sure a church would ever hire me and I might even get fired from my church! Think about it:
- What would you think if you saw me out to dinner one night with several prostitutes?
- What if my ministry was primarily spent with only 12 men?
- What if a majority of the religious world, despised me and spoke out against me?
- What if I never stayed in one place for very long?
- What if I was single and broke?
- What if I asked people to join me that were totally unqualified and questionable?
- What if my sermons made people angry enough they wanted to kill me?
Jesus pursued the outcast, lonely, lost, the rebel, despised, rejected, ashamed, the diseased, and people marginalized from society. He ate with them, healed them, and lived among them.
The challenge for me has been this–Who do I need to love? Who do I need to start identifying with? If it’s bad for my reputation, then it just might be good for the Kingdom of God.