Monday, January 19, 2015
In their flurry of taking out the trash the night before, a scrap of paper was tossed in the white bag, tied up and tossed in the dumpster. Mercifully, it was not the day the truck was supposed to come. If it had, I would imagine those two friends would've been more frantic and maybe even chained themselves to the dumpster...well maybe not that, it's only money.
So they stood with gloves on and the lovely aroma of other people's trash in their nostrils, looking at probably 30 or more identical garbage bags. The treasure hunt ended successfully. They found it, a little wet and a little smelly. They were very thankful it was not the dead heat of summer or a crazy rainstorm.
I would imagine their neighbors thought they had lost their mind. But these friends knew there was buried treasure there. They knew the price of it and were willing to get dirty to dig it out.
Jesus is like that. He knows the value of people and was willing to go into "the dumpster" to be with them and lead them out.
While traveling, He went out of His way and walked to Samaria. (Samaria was avoided by all upstanding Jews.) He sat at a Samaritan well in the heat of the day, to speak to a woman who had a questionable reputation. (John 4:1-30)
When He was in the midst of ministry, there was a desperate leper who came to Him for healing. Walking near this man would've been out of the question, much less touching him. But Jesus did touch him, and healed him.
And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” Mark 1:40-41 (ESV)
Even during dinner, He was approached by an obvious woman of ill repute and allowed her to touch His feet. Even with the party host fuming at the invasion, Jesus took the time to show her love.
Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner. Luke 7:39 (ESV)
Have you ever gone out of your comfort zone for Jesus? Have you ever visited someone in prison, gone to the bedside of the dying or said a kind word to the stumbling drunk in the parking lot?
Jesus didn't promise following Him would be soft pews, stained glass and pretty music. He said to leave the 99 sheep and go after the one that is lost.
Expect brambles and mud outside. Expect to be judged by your peers or strangers. You may even have to take a trip into places you never would've thought you would go like a distant land that is hostile to Christians. Because the lost sometimes find the most obnoxious places to run away to. Jesus wants us to go after them, because He did. If you're worried about the smell or the dirt, it will wash off. But the treasure you will find is priceless!
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. Matthew 6:19-20 (ESV)
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Matthew 13:44 (ESV)