Matthew Barnett on Looking Out for the Misfits of the World

70724365 – the fish is jumping

Every once in a while, a new student will come into my kids’ class at school. As soon as my kids are in the car, they are always quick to tell me when a new student arrives. They tell me all about the person, where they are from, and that it was their first day in school. Early on in life, I want them to learn to look for people who feel out of place — to look for the misfits. The first thing I tell them is, “Go and make them feel welcome. Whatever it takes, go out of your way to let them know they are special.”

The world is more connected than ever before and, yet, more lonely. The mark of a Bible-believing Christian is someone who looks for people who feel misplaced in the world.

Jesus looked for what we would call “the fish out of water.” In one story He came to the city of Jericho — the same city Joshua conquered generations before. There was a man there named Zacchaeus who really wanted to see who Jesus was; he’d heard the rumors but he wanted to see for himself.

But there was a problem. Zacchaeus was short—”a wee little man” as the children’s song goes—and there was a massive crowd around Jesus. What could he do? He spotted a tree and climbed up to get a better view. It wasn’t long before Jesus saw him.

“Zacchaeus,” He said, “come down immediately. I must stay at your house today” (Luke 19:5). Let’s stop right there for a moment. I must stay at your house today. Isn’t it great that Jesus invited Himself over to this man’s house? Jesus pushed Himself into Zacchaeus’s life.

I still don’t know how Zacchaeus was able to stay in that tree from the shock factor of Jesus noticing him among the crowd celebrating His entrance into the city. On top of that, Jesus invited Himself over. What a savior! He takes notice even of the ones who feel forsaken and hidden among the shadows.

The Bible says Zacchaeus came down from his limb and welcomed Jesus, but that people started talking smack. “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner,” they said (Luke 19:7). You see, Zacchaeus was a tax collector-the chief tax collector-and there was no one in Israel more despised than a tax collector.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Matthew Barnett

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