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April 28, 2024 | Daily Devotionals | April 28

Relating to the Rascals


In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.  Philippians 2:5


I like being with people who are like me. It’s easier being with like-minded people––comfortable and conflict free. But I learned to also be energized by people outside my comfort zone. The Bible teaches that our inner circle of friends and advisors should be like-minded spiritually, but our focus on serving others should extend well past these borders. 


When you study the game film on Jesus he is constantly breaking the rules that say who He should be spending time with. Many times the disciples can’t handle the freedom with which He moves and operates in His service. This is one of the things that the blockbuster show The Chosen has depicted really well: How radical Jesus was in associating with people that made his inside circle really uncomfortable. 


Jesus is not bound by culture; He is not tethered to the opinions of men. Instead, He’s guided by compassion. 


When it comes to whom you serve, the real test is not when you are with friends or family, it’s when you are with “foreigners”––those who differ culturally, socially, or spiritually (although sometimes our own family seems foreign). In that case our King was countercultural. Let’s see: women, kids, prostitutes, tax collectors, sinners, drunks, and lepers (to name a few). We’ve heard and read the stories so often that they’ve lost their edginess. So put this in perspective, if Jesus were walking the earth today, I think he’d be in Vegas talking to the street workers and in the inner city ministering and preaching to the fentanyl addicts.


Jesus hung out with the types of people others threw money at but never sacrificed time and energy for.  Abraham Heschel said it this way in A Passion of Truth: “The test of love is how one relates not to saints and scholars but to rascals.” 


Jesus was definitely drawn to the rascals because He belonged only to the Father.


Father, help me remember it’s not about my comfort, but about the comfort of others.


 Abraham Heschel, A Passion for Truth, Jewish Lights; F First Edition Used (April 1, 1995)


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