アウトサイダーの中のアウトサイダー An Outsider of Outsiders


アウトサイダーの中のアウトサイダー An Outsider of Outsiders







I’m a gaijin. I’ve come to see that as a playful name for foreigner but if you look at it literally, it means “outsider”. You can probably understand why that is a label no one is very comfortable with. Feeling left on the outside is not a unique experience to foreigners, unfortunately. We all have felt left out of some groups. Maybe we arrived after friendships were formed. Maybe we were too different. Maybe we were misunderstood. With very few “inside” relationships in our culture, we have a lot of experience being outside of relationships, security, and belonging.

On Sunday Mark talked about a time when Jesus met a demon-possessed man (Luke 8:26-39). This man is a Gentile, considered by the Jews to be outsiders of God’s special plans for them. He is naked and wild and lives in the tombs. He can’t live anywhere near the town. You could say this man is an outsider of the outsiders. He is rejected by everyone until he meets Jesus. Jesus loves, accepts and forgives him. Jesus restores his dignity and sanity.

Jesus shows us what a loving God he is by traveling to the far outside to meet this man. Jesus crosses physical (the sea), cultural (Jews vs Gentiles) and spiritual (casting out demons) barriers to set him free. It’s an uncomfortable place to be. If we are followers of Christ, we have two choices: 

1) We can stay in a place that is comfortable and try to create an “inside” group of people just like ourselves. In doing so, we will probably make someone feel like an outsider of our group. 

Or 2) We can go with Jesus to an uncomfortable place to meet the outsider of outsiders. Jesus is familiar with being an outsider. He left the comforts of heaven to be with us. He was rejected by his own people. He died a lonely death.   Jesus joins us as a fellow outsider. He meets us in our lonely places and offers the acceptance of God. He asks us to do the same to others. Who is an “outsider” you know that needs God’s love and acceptance?