Embrace The Wrong People

In the Gospels, Jesus continually makes the point that salvation is not dependent on worldly status or religious observance. Jesus reveals in story after story that God purposely chooses the stranger, outcast, foreigner, sick and unclean—the wrong people—to show the limitless, unconditional, boundless nature of God’s love for everyone.  Jesus shatters the common assumption that we can and should exclude certain people from the love and grace of God. Jesus offers us a way to let God’s radical grace disrupt the system and to live by faith and to see our story the way God sees it and us. No one decides who God loves or what God can do.

This could both be scary and unbelievable because it means accepting that God is not always as we see him and that nothing will be the same. The moment we accept Jesus our life is never the same.

In John 9, Jesus and the disciples come upon a man blind from birth and Jesus is asked, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

Jesus replied, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

I have heard this text cited for the idea that sin does exist or that God does not count sin against us. That is wrong. Sin is all too real. I would never discount that sin is real. This bible story I believe is telling us that birth defects and illness is not God punishing us for our sin, but just part of life and that God can and will use anything to display the glory of God. Jesus as the light of the world means that he shows us the way to life with and in God. Jesus leads to the type of life we are meant to live.

As Sara Miles writes, “None of us controls what God does. But we can open our eyes and see what God is doing. Jesus says that in order to see the glory of God revealed, we have to look at the whole of creations: God is always among us, making us whole even as we try to divide ourselves, loving us even as we hate each other. Don’t call unclean anything God has created; do not exclude anything or anyone from your vision. It is all God’s work.”

No one is outside of God’s love. No one should be excluded from our fellowship. The glory of God is revealed most when we as one body busy ourselves doing God’s work. We become the body of Christ by embracing the wrong people extending God’s love and grace to the least, feeding and healing our needy brothers and sisters and looking past our differences to all we have in common. We shouldn’t exclude people from God, but invite all to come and see that God is good and his gospel is the really, really Good News. The gospel shouldn’t be quartered off but spread wide. The gospel is for all not just a few.  

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