“Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, ‘Let the children alone, and do not hinder then from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'” – Matthew 19:13-14
Workers had just finished unloading the moving van on a hot, humid day. As one of the men stood off to the side, I sensed the need to shine Christ’s love by thanking him for his hard labor–nothing major, but a genuine recognition of his value and my appreciation. So I did. And this ordinary guy who might be considered insignificant due to his job responded with a smile and said, “That’s what we’re here for–to work.”
Children. Tax collectors. Prostitutes. Heathens. Women. Fishermen.
These were some of the people Jesus Christ valued as He walked on this earth, and He still values them today. He didn’t send children away or expect men and women to live virtuous lives before He’d spend time with them. He didn’t turn His nose up at the Godless or turn His back on those of low status. He didn’t judge a person by his/her job. The Lord valued those society overlooked or even disdained … and so should we.
It’s easy to allow our flesh or the world’s influence to control our behavior:
- Maybe our church needs nursery workers … but we’d rather not help.
- Maybe we know someone living an immoral lifestyle … but we’d rather not associate with them.
- Maybe we have an offensive, anti-Christian person in our life … but we’d rather not love them.
- Maybe there’s someone the world considers insignificant–the disabled, the uneducated, the poor, etc. … but we’d rather not spend our time encouraging them.
But Jesus did. And now it’s our privileged responsibility to show His love and care to all–especially those whom the world doesn’t value.
Obviously we can’t meet every need and take care of every desperate person. That would be adding to the craziness. Yet we can conquer the craziness by modeling Christ’s behavior and truly “seeing” each individual. When we notice and value the unvalued, we’ll experience the peace of fulfilling God’s plan.
By the Holy Spirit’s power, let’s just do it!
“And it came about that He was reclining at the table in his house, and many tax-gatherers and sinners were dining with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many of them, and they were following Him.” – Mark 2:15