How Jesus was different…


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A couple of years ago, a friend’s suburban church did a ministry to “the poor” in Harlem.  Around that time a bus load of youth kids from PA came to Flushing, Queens to do an evangelistic ministry to the lost (mainly Asian) people on the streets.  Also, a friend of mine took it on himself to gather some friends in his luxury condo to make sandwiches to pass out to the homeless, each with little Bible verses inside.  I don’t know exactly what to say about those things…because they all meant well.  They felt like they were on God’s mission…but it wasn’t very Jesus like.  Actually, it was a little bit insulting.  [The suburban church went to my old neighborhood, the evangelistic youth went to a neighborhood with hundreds of Asian churches, and something about passing out sandwiches just felt wrong.]  Jesus didn’t do anything like that…

The message for Christmas was that God didn’t just want to send us a gift basket…He planned to move in to our neighborhood.  And He did it fully…  He not only lived in the same place as us, He put himself under the same rules, the same limitations, experienced the same weaknesses…  And yet because He joined with us, His greatness didn’t just glorify Him, it benefited us…

To help someone from afar can be insulting. The sentiment, “I don’t want your charity” is something the poor know well, and middle class people struggle to fathom.  But to join in our fate, to become one of us – that’s different.  Imagine if you hated the Yankees, and loved the Mets – and the Yankees manager offered to “help” out your team?  “Who do you think you are?  We don’t want your help!”  But what if he decided to quit his team to join yours?  That’s a different!  Jesus was different.  And I think Jesus wants to make you different too.

Related posts:

  1. Why I’m glad we don’t have Sunday school teachers…
  2. One way to do community…
  3. Storing up rewards in heaven…
  4. The thing about being poor…
  5. The complexity of Jesus-ing…
  6. Helping people find Jesus…
  7. The Inner Life of Jesus [Sunday]
  8. Are you following Jesus or having Jesus follow You?

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