In my evangelism class, we were shown a video. Here is that video:
The video shows a man with a certain handicap, and the only way that he is able to get people to show him affection, is by dressing up in this costume. This video made me think, and from it, I bring you this blog post- Getting Closer
I think there is a lot that we as a society can bring away from this video, but, I’d like to expand it to a Christian dilemma. This man felt that he had to put on a full costume, and a mask to find affection. From this video, I decided that he never did talk, but only spread his arms open; asking for closeness.
I think this means a lot to the Christian community. Many Christians and non-Christians alike feel this same way. They have sinned, as I have, and feel a lack of love from Christ followers. They feel like the Christians around them won’t accept them for who they are. Because of this, they put on a full costume. From their head to toes, they wrap themselves in something that is more aesthetic to the eyes. They know that they will be judged, and pushed away by the church, so they don’t allow their brokenness to be seen. Furthermore, they don’t speak- meaning they don’t allow themselves to unravel the hurt they are holding in. They fear judgment and humiliation, when what they really need is someone to take the time to show them that God loves them no matter what they have been through. Like I have said in previous posts, Jesus did not ask us to judge others, nor humiliate them. He asked us to show them mercy. There are multiple accounts in the Bible when Jesus talks about love and mercy, but there is no account of Jesus asking us to judge and humiliate each other.
God’s church is God’s followers. A true follower of Jesus Christ will not push someone away because of what they have done. No true Christ follower will avoid someone because of their past. Christ did not push us away. Jesus did not only hang out with the righteous.
In Matthew 9, Jesus is being rebuked by the teachers of law and the religious leaders for eating with tax collectors. In their day, anyone who valued their reputation with the religious leaders would not have sat at the same table as a tax collector-they were viewed as sinners. Here is the passage.
Matthew 9:9-13 (NLT) As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him. 10 Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. 11 But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” 12 When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor-sick people do.” 13 Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”
We see here that God undoubtedly valued personal affection towards those who were sinners. He did this not for personal gain, but so that they would know that Jesus was able to forgive them of whatever they had committed in their life. That’s the same now. Jesus calls us to reach out to the broken. He asks us to love and show mercy. If we are God’s people, why do we prick our noses up towards others in our own righteousness? Righteous? Really? Nobody is righteous! Only Jesus is righteous. And because Christ showed us love and mercy, even in our brokenness, we too are called to show love and mercy. Get closer! When you truly care about others and show them love, no matter how broken they are, then, and only then, are you getting closer.