By O’Ceallaigh –
I passed by a person on my walk the other day and recognized her from someplace or another. At my age one never knows!
But, as so often occurs on such chance meetings conversations are commenced and one thing leads to another…!
Now, you’re already getting the wrong idea! We began talking about what we knew about the Bible and, what we should know. She told me that she had studied “Comparative Religions” in college many years ago but studied to pass the course and get the credit and could remember very little.
That, of course opened me up to the fact that, even though I had been a student of the Bible for many years, when I study now, I still learn more. But, my problem is that I find it much more difficult to remember what I learn nowadays. I suggested that I would like to start a “small group study” locally to keep my brain tuned up on spiritual things. She said that she would love that, and that she would attend if I did!
She told me that she had been invited to church by a close friend but that she had not yet gone with her. I asked her why? She said, with specific hand gestures, “Look at me!”
“Sami” was a big girl, somewhat overweight, dressed in a tank-top and shorts and bulging out in various spots. She had tattoos on many of the exposed areas of her body. Her long blond hair was pulled back into a pony tail that tossed back and forth when she walked.
After following her instructions to look at her, somewhat, I realized what she was referring to. But my mind was racing through scripture.
I thought of some of the women that Jesus dealt with.
Mary Magdalene. She picked up that name most probably from her time in the town of Magdala where she made her living on the street. There is evidence that she came to Jesus seven times and each time He exorcised demons from her. Or, one time and seven demons, depending upon how you read and with whose glasses you read.
Some authors suggest that it is she who was the sister of Martha and Lazarus also. And, the same woman that was taken in the very act of adultery and thrown down on the pavement in front of Jesus to see what He would do with her.
Whether they were the same person or not, He treated her, or them, all the same; with courtesy and love; with understanding and honor.
“Where are your accusers?”
“There are none, Lord!”
Well, neither do I condemn you! Go, and stop doing the things that you used to do.
Then there was the Samaritan woman at the well of Jacob in Samaria.
Jews would never consider even speaking to a Samaritan, especially in public! But Jesus did. It was His purpose, His mission! To speak to them all and to love them all!
The most read verse in all of scripture is John 3:16; “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
But then verse 17 follows and tells us that God is not at all what we have pictured Him to be; a sharp, ruling, vindictive master, just waiting to catch us doing something wrong, but someone totally different. Notice:
“ For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (Emphases mine)
So, when you come to Jesus – and to God – and say to him, ‘Look at me! I don’t deserve you or what you’ve done for me or for everyone else!!”
He quickly says to you, “You’re beautiful! And, yes, you’re undeserving! But so is everyone else! And, guess what? My sacrifice was made, only for the undeserving. Look at me! And be saved, undeserving though you may be.”