We have all experienced the sting of rejection or the applause of acceptance.
Whichever end you were on determines your experience and the feelings that followed it.
Let’s Get Real
Who doesn’t want to be chosen?
Who doesn’t want the red carpet experience?
Who doesn’t love the best seat or the best table?
You and me and all of us.
Who wants to be over looked or chosen as an afterthought? You know that feeling, someone talking to you but they are looking at the person behind you that they are wanting to talk with. They are totally distracted with the “better choice” behind you, yet they appease you with their company for a few minutes.
Status symbols surround us everywhere we go.
From the Hollywood A-listers to the Elite and well to-do. Impressive, when we see their entourage circling around them and the paparazzi scheming to get that one great shot when they exit the restaurant.
People that are name droppers love to use them to improve their own status, hoping this will lead to open doors.
Jesus was and is not moved by this. Not impressed either. In fact He said:
Whatever you do for the least (not the greatest, not the most well known) of these you have done unto me.
So who is it that might be classified as the least?
Let’s Look At Some Verses
Let’s look at a few Bible verses to get get some reference points. James makes quite a case in these verses.
My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory with partiality.
For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should come in a poor man in filthy clothes.
and you pay attention to the one wearing fine clothes and say to him,”You sit here in a good place.” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “sit here at my footstool,”
have you not shown partiality among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
Jesus chose 12 ordinary men to turn the world upside down.
Nothing about their resumes looked impressive; it wasn’t their resumes Jesus was after. It was their heart and trust to follow him. He knew what others knew too, their garments weren’t fine clothing. Actually some were quite filthy metaphorically speaking.
But they were called; chosen to sit in a good place. A place with Jesus. A place of transformation but also a place of honor. The best seat they had ever had.
Jesus said the first will be last and the last will be first.
The Jesus Way
Jesus never looked at status but He always noticed steadfastness and serving. Simple things. Simple people who had the capability of doing great things. He was constantly telling others not to make him known, and yet they couldn’t contain it once they encountered him. They had to reveal his glory.
Just as the son of man did not come to be served,”but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many.
When we fall into the trap of noticing status instead of service, we have missed the forest with the trees right in our face.
The slipping away of who a person is to what their status represents always blurs you to the whole value of that person. Jesus said, ‘Who do you say that I am.?” He was and is always more concerned with who he is inside of you. Who you are inside matters so much more than the “what” it is you do.
Notice what we always say to people, “So what do you do?” We are curious and we start deciding if it’s impressive or not. Status or eh….Status Quo?
Meet Jesus and Malcolm
Imagine asking Jesus, “So, what do you do?” Jesus says, “I’m a carpenter.”
A carpenter huh? Not sure we have a lot in common, but the guy across the room with the lists of achievements and business awards seems interesting. We might find something to talk about, but hey… I will look you up if I ever need something built and have the need for Carpenter services. What was your name again? I’m not sure I caught it. Was it Jesse? Oh, sorry. Jesus. I got it now.
Moving right along because I’m dying to meet Malcolm. The Tech guru in the trendy skinny jeans. This guy is something. He is the guy. You know the one it takes forever to get an appointment with, the guy who knows the ins and outs of all the latest and greatest trending “new thing”. A creative genius. He went from being a nobody to being connected to all the somebody’s.
This guy is going places, He is the “somebody” everyone wants to meet. Malcolm is sought after, after all, He has got quite the list of credentials and rubs shoulders with a lot of people. I definitely can remember Malcolm.
And because Malcolm has a lot to offer us and He looks the part, we give him the best seat of course. Our attention and pretty much our allegiance bows to him because we are swoon by being impressed. He has a lot (seemingly) to offer us, advance our personal agenda all because we are partial. Partial to people who seem to have something we need or desire. We look at externals and what people do.
What Jesus Sees
Jesus looks at internals and what they will become. Many times our identity is in danger of being hi-jacked because we begin to live vicariously through the successes of others and lose ourselves and our real identity. Overly impressed by a world view of success we lose sight of the kingdom.
The Kingdom view is the opposite. To go up you must learn to go down.
Jesus is a God of hearts, not impressed by inflated heads. The Kingdom of God is an upside down kingdom, always working from the bottom to the top. Jesus is always looking at the heart.
So, the next time you have an opportunity, choose the less than desirable, the reject, and the castaway, the broken and the least because in God’s eyes you might just be choosing the best.