Jesus was the epitome of tenderness—this awe inspiring combination of grace and grit.
He was never intimidated by His enemies, always seeking to comfort the next needy heart, yet He never wavered from teaching the uncompromised truth of God.
The crowds followed Him everywhere, flocking after Him with their unending needs—but though the demands on His energy and resources were ceaseless, He always had the time for just… one… more.
If you hurt? He hurt.
Jesus never avoided need. He had an incredible tenderness toward the ache of this world. He always did or said just what His Father wanted Him to say or do.
He was laser-focused in that.
He had zero patience with religious posturing or pretense. If you wanted “a show” He was NOT your guy! He was the real deal—God come down to earth—in flesh, and blood, and tears.
When I look at Him? I marvel at His gritty grit and my weary heart warms at His amazing, amazing grace. I look to His Light and I am lightened—burdens falling away as my hope is renewed.
I want to be a part of a Church like that.
I call it The Un-Quo Church.
Because Jesus was the un-quo of all time.
He saw all people as priceless—worthy of His investment.
(I want eyes like that, too.)
He didn’t hold us in contempt though we are often worthy of it.
No, you could be royal, or you could be riffraff, it didn’t matter to Him.
You could be a lonely woman all alone at a well, or an outcast beggar forgotten beside the road. You might be a cowardly Pharisee, sneaking in to meet with Him in the middle of the night, or a despised and swindling tax collector—He didn’t care. If your heart was hungry? He was there for you—with a smile, a hand up, and a new assignment.
He saw VALUE in every one He encountered.
Their messy grit was met with God’s tenderness and grace.
And to my knowledge?
Jesus showed an impatient contempt for only one group of people:
The Status Quo parading themselves in the synagogues.
He looked on those proud and posturing parrots (called Pharisees) as a brood of vipers; called them out, as whitewashed tombs full of dead men’s bones! And baby, in Jewish culture? You couldn’t say anything more insulting than that, especially when speaking to a Pharisee!
Pharisee’s saw themselves as a cut above and truly superior fellows.
Definitely not one of the unwashed!
(Oh, no. Definitely not.)
Far be it, for a devoted follower of the Law, to ever get their pretty robes soiled by rubbing up against that kind of person.
(Those poor pretty parrots.)
They had completely lost sight of what they had become…
And, WHO God had ALWAYS been!
A Seeking Savior, desperately searching for His lost Adam, that was Jesus.
And there He was! Standing in their midst. The Royalty of heaven rubbing elbows with riffraff refuse! And, they missed it; missed Him!
The Elohim God who loves every single one of us…
Just where we are; for who we are…
Blind broken beggars in hopeless helpless need of a Healer for our hard, hard, hearts.
Who am I in this story?
THE TAX COLLECTOR
13-14 Then Jesus went again to walk alongside the lake. Again a crowd came to him, and he taught them. Strolling along, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus, at his work collecting taxes. Jesus said, “Come along with me.” He came.
15-16 Later Jesus and his disciples were at home having supper with a collection of disreputable guests. Unlikely as it seems, more than a few of them had become followers. The religion scholars and Pharisees saw him keeping this kind of company and lit into his disciples: “What kind of example is this, acting cozy with the riffraff?”
17 Jesus, overhearing, shot back, “Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? I’m here inviting the sin-sick, not the spiritually-fit.”
Mark Chapter Two, The Message
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