Imagine, if you were only known by the worst mistake you ever made.
All us can be known by our final hour, and not necessarily our finest hour in life. The wrong concepts we can make are a direct correlation of how we think.
And if we, or any organization you’re familiar with, leads with the measure of mistake first, we could be leading people to make mistakes all over again.
Let me explain. To be defined in any way is to be classified. In that classification, it then becomes your identity. Declaring who you are, how you live, where you live, etc. A more specific illustration is revealed in the Gospel of Matthew in which Jesus would often call people to come follow him. The story reads He (Jesus) saw a man sitting at the tax office, called Matthew, and He said to him, Follow Me. And he rose and followed Him (Chap. 9 verse 9). A man or woman certainly knows their own condition and past life more than those who would initially meet them.
In society, we have bad people, and then we have those whom we classify. In this case, we have the Tax Collectors. Jesus overlooks the measure of mistake and makes Himself available to have dinner with him and his friends. He was reclining at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and reclined together with Jesus and His disciples (Verse 10).
Purposely stepping out of our comfort zone or calendar to actually sit down over a meal with those who could be measured as men and women who are known for the worst mistake they ever made – can be life starting for both sides of the occasion (or table). Now certainly Jesus shows us in this particular illustration how little of a right concept we may have about God. But moreover, to show how zealous we can all be about our wrong conception.
It shouldn’t be this way, but often it is. We have trouble regarding people’s past. This can inflict wounds and leave marks with our remarks. But if we would do well, and to learn what love does, then maybe sitting down over a meal as I often invite people to do through our “Break Bread. Blur Boundaries.” opportunity on our website could be the answer for those on both sides of the table.
Nothing is of greater importance to all who are called to the service of God that they should go and learn. Time, strength of mind, and will must be cultivated in such a particular fellowship, that eventually grows into a greater knowledge of the Son of God’s love.
For those in transition it’s important to know that your mistake is also a weakness. We all have them. The sooner we know what it is that others could measure us by, the sooner we can acknowledge that we become intimate with our strengths.
In this story, Christ is the strength that comes to share a meal with our weaknesses. He doesn’t disregard them, but looks to cover over with all that He is within Himself to carry us through. To have a wrong concept of this Son is to see that we don’t have weaknesses. To be unaware.
It is incredible to know that any of us play a role in God’s amazing story. Our small stories have meaning because they are connected to His big story. A privilege to join with God in the process of redemption, is what happens when we show up at the table to have a meal with others. As a humble reader, you’re probably already helping by building genuine relationships that have opened the door and inspired someone else to follow Jesus.
Being self-aware of one’s weaknesses is humbling. But then again, the humble, or meek, shall inherit the Earth. (Matt. 5:5)