At Home in Christ
A home can be a wonderful thing. For many of us, home is where we can be honest, where we’re with our family, and where all things—even the flaws—feel familiar. Perhaps most importantly, though, a true home is where we can be ourselves, in genuine humility. Such ought to be our experience in the fellowship of God’s people.
Paul’s call for Christians to “not be haughty, but associate with the lowly” is a way of calling us to treat one another like family in the household of God. Another way to translate the command “Associate with the lowly” is to say “Be willing to do menial work.” Both translations are helpful; we shouldn’t be so proud that there are either people with whom we won’t associate or jobs we refuse to do.
In the secular world, respectability is measured by status, significance, influence, wealth, intellect, and so on. This must not be the case among Christian men and women. Indeed, one of the distinguishing features of God’s people should be that characteristics such as materialism, pride, and slander, which mark the wider community, are no longer prevalent.
How could we dare give in to the broader culture’s influence when our Lord described Himself as having “nowhere to lay his head” and as being “gentle and lowly in heart” (Matthew 8:20; 11:29)? He came not to save those who are well but those who are sick (Mark 2:17). He continues to call the weak of the world to shame the strong (1 Corinthians 1:27). Even the apostle Paul, that eminently qualified teacher of the law, deemed his entire resumé rubbish in order to gain Christ (Philippians 3:8).
Jesus is building a church, and the church He’s building is the family of God. Our Father is in heaven, our elder Brother is reigning, and our brothers and sisters are worshiping with us. Next time you’re with your church family, take a step out of your comfort zone and get to know a member of the family you don’t normally interact with. Next time you’re asked to do a job or take on a role that you would not naturally be drawn to, ask yourself if this is an opportunity to be humble and not haughty. After all, our elder Brother did not consider a cross beneath Him, and He died there to raise up lowly sinners like you and me. The ground is level beneath His cross. And so His family is to be marked by humble love.
Jesus Cleanses a Leper
40And a leper7 came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” 41Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” 42And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. 43And Jesus8 sternly charged him and sent him away at once, 44and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” 45But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.
Jesus Heals a Paralytic
1And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. 2And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. 3And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. 4And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. 5And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7“Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? 9Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? 10But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— 11“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” 12And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”
Jesus Calls Levi
13He went out again beside the sea, and all the crowd was coming to him, and he was teaching them. 14And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.
15And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16And the scribes of1 the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat2 with tax collectors and sinners?” 17And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
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