Jesus was born to show that God is open to accepting the outsiders in our world. He was born an outsider of sorts, in his time. His mother was impregnated by the Holy Spirit, and so no one in society would have seen this family as normal. In fact, we are told, in Matthew 1:18-25, that Joseph even considered leaving Mary, since she was having a child that wasn’t his own. However, God intervened and let him know it was okay. In a very traditional society, this family would have started out in rejection from most people, because having children out of marriage was considered very taboo.
Out of the outskirts of the societal elite, Jesus would grow up and begin his ministry. He would start in the temple, but in the fields, streets, and small-towns of the common people. He would walk with the poor, eat with sinful people, and touch the sick.
I think of two great illustrations of Jesus reaching out to the outsiders, those not of the accepted Jewish background. The first is the Canaanite woman (Matthew 15:21-28). She heard of Jesus’ healing power, and though not a Jew she was bold enough to ask Jesus to help. Jesus, commended this woman’s faith, and healed her daughter. It shows that while he came for his own people first, he was open to help those who truly sought him out.
A second account is the that of the Centurion, the leader of one-hundred Roman troops, who came to Jesus seeking healing for his favorite servant (Matthew 8:5-13). Many servants in this time became as part of the family to those rich enough to have servants. This military leader asks for Jesus’ help, but then says for him not to come to his home. The reasoning was that anyone with power and command doesn’t need to go, but only give the command and things will be done. In the case of Jesus, this would mean all he would have to do is say the word, and the soldier knew it was done. Jesus said of the man, “In all of Israel, I have not found such faith.”
Jesus was open to the outsiders, those on the fringe of His world. Who is on the fringe of your world today? Who needs an encouraging word, or a prayer for their need? We all were outsiders with God at one time. Keep your eyes open, and you will quickly see that there are many who feel rejected and they are in need of people to reach out and accept them as they are. Help the reject. Love the brokenhearted. Accept the outsiders, in your life.