The Untouchables – you know – “Those People”

Mark 9:33–37 (ESV) And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35 And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” 36 And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”

Note how humble our Savior is. It is why He wants us to become humble too – that we might be like Him.

And the truth is, you cannot have your eye set on your own greatness, and at the same time be willing to stop and receive those who can add nothing to your quest for personal greatness.

Loving the least among people, will marginalize you from such grasping after status yourself.

Receive, be identified with, take up in your arms those who are not capable of helping you achieve such a goal – do it for MY sake – and you will receive both Me and My Father; He seems to be saying.

And I am forced to ask myself – who is it I am afraid to be identified with – lest I lose status in the eyes of others? Who are the “those people” who do not quite measure up to my standard? What group is it I am afraid others will imagine that I’m “one of them”?

Am I afraid to be thought of as a sinner? A friend of the uneducated, or uneducated myself? A pal to the socially inept? The rednecks or the tree-huggers? The indigent? The broken? The addicted, convicted, helpless, needy & bound? Or do I want to be among the beautiful, the comfortable, the respectable and the un-cumbersome only?

Children are lacking knowledge, context, self-control, the ability to contribute much to their care and upkeep and will be noisy and bothersome. Welcome to me! And as the Savior scoops such up in His arms – He calls us to do the same.

What a lover of souls He is! What a Savior!

One thought on “The Untouchables – you know – “Those People”

  1. Read this today and thought of your post.

    “Our eyes will feast forever on this love of God”

    Luther, preaching on John the Baptist’s words in John 1, “Behold the Lamb of God”–

    It would be spectacular and amazing, prompting all the world to open its ears and eyes, mouth and nose in uncomprehending wonderment, if some king’s son were to appear in a beggar’s home to nurse him in his illness, wash off his filth, and do everything else the beggar would have to do. Would this not be profound humility? Any spectator or any beneficiary of this honor would feel impelled to admit that he had seen or experienced something unusual and extraordinary, something magnificent.

    But what is a king or an emperor compared with the Son of God? Furthermore, what is a beggar’s filth or stench compared with the filth of sin which is ours by nature, stinking a hundred times worse and looking infinitely more repulsive to God than any foul matter found in a hospital?

    And yet the love of the Son of God for us is of such magnitude that the greater the filth and stench of our sins, the more He befriends us. For how amazing it is that the Son of God becomes my servant, that He humbles Himself so, that He cumbers Himself with my misery and sin. . . . He says to me: “You are no longer a sinner, but I am. I am your substitute. You have not sinned, but I have. The entire world is in sin. However, you are not in sin; but I am. All your sins are to rest on Me and not on you.”

    No one can comprehend this. In yonder life our eyes will feast forever on this love of God.

    –Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, 22:166-67

    Everything in us screams: The less the filth and sinful stench, the more He befriends us. After all, that’s how we all function on a horizontal level, with other people. But Luther is right. The more sin, the more cleansing friendship, as long as we bring it to Him. The only thing that can stop up grace is our own self-________: self-reliance, self-exoneration, self-improvement.”

    Guest post by Dane Ortlund

    “Our eyes will feast forever on this love of God” is a post from: Ray Ortlund

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