Here’s an awesome post from our own Lee Pierce! Keep ’em comin’ Lee! We so enjoy reading your stuff! -anita
WAS JESUS AN “OUTSIDER”?
I was thinking about that passage in the book of John the other day, where Jesus talked about His followers being hated because “…[the world] hated Me before it hated you [us].” [John 15:18-19]
Clearly, some people truly hate our Lord, and want Him out of their life and out of all of society’s discourse. No mention of God to be made! To hate someone like our Lord is hated by some must mean those same people know at least something about Him. (Maybe because faithful believers keep bringing Him up at every opportunity—if that describes you, then keep up the good work!)
So, in the sense that Jesus was, and is, hated by some, and as they work tirelessly to marginalize Him from the course of our daily lives, one has to conclude that for many people, Jesus is an outsider. One not acceptable to discuss, care about, or include in their lives. I’m sure that at least some of these people who despise Him are not necessarily atheistic, they just want nothing to do with Jesus.
As I thought more about this subject, it occurred to me that, in another sense entirely, Jesus actually was the consummate insider. Jesus is God, alive and well in the halls of heaven, and present at the side of God the Father. Yet He saw fit to leave that divine splendor, leave His Father’s side, and come to this world. A world He created—a world in which He knows everything about it and knows everyone within it. And not only did He come here in person, He did so as one of us! He could have entered this world as a pillar of fire or some form equally imposing and formidable. But no. He took on human form—in part, to become the second Adam and to do those things perfectly that the first Adam never did. So we have God Himself, a member of the Holy Trinity, walking around in the flesh. Experiencing all that we experience: eating, drinking, hurting, teaching, caring, and eventually dying, just like each of us. It leaves me in complete awe to consider the fact that Jesus, with all His rightful power and privilege, would set that aside for several years just to live among us! And to do so even when so many then—and now—despise and hate Him. What a God; what a savior!
For me, as I consider this, I find it breathtaking that our Holy God, a being so unlike us in a myriad of ways, would deign to lower Himself to become a person! One just like you, just like me! For you and me, well, we’re both just a person. That’s all we’ve ever known, that’s all we’ve ever been. Personhood comes easily to us. But for our Lord Jesus, He is divine, holy, supernatural, so far above us [see Isaiah 55:8-9]. For you and me, being a person just comes naturally. For Jesus, He had to come so far (down) to be like us. That’s what blows my mind. And since He is God, not only did He become a person, He became the best person there ever was! The very best person of persons; but, since He is God, would you expect anything less?
As Jesus lived here in this world as a man, it seems to me He is the ultimate insider. Because He is God and because everything He does is perfect and complete, He knows more about being human, being a person, than any of us. I guess that’s my real point of this writing: Not only is He God, Jesus is a better, more perfect person, than I’ll ever be. Everything He does is so right, so excellent. That’s what I want in my God, and Jesus fits all my conceptions of what God should be and far surpasses those conceptions in glorious and unexpected ways! Thank you, Lord!