Who Did Jesus Meet?

The four gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – give us a multifaceted description of Jesus’ earthly ministry.  During this ministry, of roughly three and one-half years, Jesus met with many people from all walks of life.  It is interesting to take note of who He met, and how He dealt with each group.  Let’s look at some:

  1. Religious Leaders – these would be the scribes, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the rulers of the synagogue, and the High Priest, and his kin.  Jesus encounter with this group was largely hostile and confrontational.
  2. Romans – although Israel was ruled by Rome, and Roman soldiers, captains, and governors were ever present, it is not recorded He had much interaction with them until the day of His crucifixion.  We might say His relationship to this group was cordial, and non-committal.
  3. True Followers – this would be His disciples, which numbered more than the 12 we know so much about.  At one time He sent out 70, so we know there were many more than just the 12.  Jesus relationship with this group was much more as teacher, mentor, helper, instructor, and guide.

But, this list leaves out a big group – the SINNER.  How did Jesus deal with this group?  Did He do as we often do, by condemning, judging, criticizing, belittling, scolding, harassing,  or dismissing as unimportant?  Not on your chinny chin chin.

This group was especially important to Jesus.  It was the primary reason He came, so He could provide a solution for sinners.  You know – the people who do everything wrong, according to our rule book.  We measure them and find them wanting.  But, Jesus wants them.  He is looking for them.  The ones no one else is interested in, those are the ones He wants.

The scriptures tell us that Judas returned the money he was paid to betray Jesus.  The religious leaders didn’t want to put the money into the treasury because it was ‘blood money’.  What would they do with this ‘tainted’ money?  They purchased the potter’s field with it.  A place where strangers could be buried.  It was not wanted or desired by anyone.  It was a place filled with broken pieces of clay and pottery that were too damaged to be salvaged.  Although it was worthless to everyone else, Jesus paid for this field with His own life and blood.  Why would anyone want the potter’s field, filled with broken and shattered pieces that cannot be put back together again?  Because Jesus saw in these pieces of broken and shattered lives, you know, the lives that no one thought was worth anything, He saw a future for them.   Those that had no family, He grafted them into the family of God.  Those that had been broken so badly they could not be put back together, He paid for the field so those pieces could be mended and made new again.

How easy it is for Christians to forget that they, too, were broken and in need of a healer and mender.  So, when we see those who are less than perfect, those who are not always doing the right thing (according to our standard), let us remember that Jesus is looking for them.  We don’t need to act like the Pharisees, and put on our ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude.  We need to put on the garment of humility and remember Jesus died for them too, and He wants them to join the family, too.

One Response to “Who Did Jesus Meet?”

  1. beamcguire@gmail.com Says:

    Excellent blog! It’s so easy to look at others and compare but I am very often reminded when I look at people and their lives that Jesus loves them just as much as He loves the most dedicated Christian. That really will stop one and put things in perspective! This blog was a reminder of that! Blessings…..

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