Many of us have felt like we’re on the outside looking in. Eventually we get over it, either by being accepted by those we want to join, or by finding some other group that embrace us. Even the most depraved individuals eventually develop some sort of insider status, whether through criminal association or other means. Notorious criminals have fans. But from an earthly perspective no one was more on the outside than Jesus.
From His arrival on earth, He was on the outside. John 1:11 says “He came unto his own, and they knew him not”. Literally born in a stable, barely protected from the elements, for all practical purposes outside. Certainly on the outskirts of society, His mother barely considered an honorable woman, only saved from utter disgrace via a dream. And that was just the start of His journey through life on earth.
Throughout His public ministry, He was mostly on the fringes of society, taking care of those that were in the same apparent condition as Him, poor and broken. When He mixed with the ‘insiders’, most of them had no qualms to reject Him and His teachings.
Finally in His last hours, abandoned by all His closest friends and ultimately God the Father.
The amazing irony is that Jesus who entered this world and left it the same way, out in the cold, alone, an outsider, was truly the Ultimate Insider! He has the inside scoop, for He created everything and was in on it from the beginning. The greatest thing about all this is why Jesus did it: so you and I can be on the inside. The inside of God’s kingdom now, with all the safety, warmth, and comfort that that provides in the here and now. To be inside His Church to enjoy fellowship with other Christians and a place to belong and serve together, working alongside each other and God. Such insiders, to be called by Him, friends and brethren. And finally one day to be safe with God in Heaven.
Alas even now, Jesus is on the outside of so many people’s hearts, knocking to come in so that they to can become insiders. God help us all to let Jesus in more, so that His light can shine out brightly in this dark world and time, and bring them in to safety.
Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift.