In our message this week I mentioned one of my favorite things about Jesus, which is that He never went where He was supposed to go.
Jesus didn’t hang out in the Christian coffee shops with the good people. No, he went straight into the heart of darkness. He had to, because he was God’s light. And the purpose of light is to illuminate the darkness. In fact, light can only serve its purpose if it’s in the darkness.
So Jesus went into Samaria, where no self-respecting Jew would go because the people there weren’t God’s people. And Jesus befriends a woman who had kind of gotten lost in her life’s journey, and Jesus got her found. He helped her find her way home and back into the Father’s arms.
And Jesus went into the home of the chief tax collector of Jericho, a man named Zaccheaus. Zaccheaus was the most hated man in town, because the tax collectors were Jews who had sided with the Romans, and who were now extorting money from the Jews. But Jesus befriended Zaccheaus because he had gotten lost, and Jesus got him found. He helped him find his way home and back into the Father’s arms.
And Jesus went to Jerusalem where, instead of visiting the synagogue, he went to a pool where the blind, lame and paralyzed hung out. It was a place religious people would never go because the sick were considered cursed by God and to be avoided. But they had gotten lost. And Jesus befriended this guy there and got him found. He helped him find his way home and back into the Father’s arms.
And Jesus went to a party at another tax collector’s house, a guy named Matthew. And the religious leaders stood outside and judged Jesus for being there and associating with those people. But they didn’t understand. Those people had gotten lost. And Jesus had to get them found. He had to help them find their way home and back into the Father’s arms.
Reading all those stories, I do wonder if Jesus ever had moments where he looked around and thought, “What am I doing here?!” But I don’t think so. Because, as He said, He came to “seek and save the lost.” And the place you do that is where the lost people have gotten lost.
Jesus once said, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
That means that we are sent to seek and save the lost. Which is great because we’ve been there. We’ve all gotten lost in our life’s journey. And so what better thing can we do with our lives than help others get found and find their way home. And the place you do that is where the lost people have gotten lost. So we don’t hang out in Christian coffee shops with the good people. We go straight into the heart of darkness. We have to, because we are God’s light, and we can only serve our purpose if we’re in the darkness. And if we’re going to be people who follow Jesus, we probably need to go pretty far and get quite uncomfortable. In fact, if we never ask, “What am I doing here?” – maybe we’re not truly following Jesus.