Mum always went for the underdog.
When the family gathered around the TV to watch our footy team dominate their arch rivals, to our shock she would break her silence with a sudden cheer if the other team scored a goal!
This also translated to the way she treated people. Mum would always spend time with those who were overlooked or forgotten. We would always lose her to the edges of the crowds, where she would be found placing the tender touch of her hand on the arm of someone wiping a tear from their eyes.
Jesus was also drawn to the underdog and those who found themselves on the fringes of society.
Jesus lived at a time when life was regulated by endless man made religious rules and restrictions that governed every area of a person’s life. Those who ‘broke the rules’ were cast aside as worthless and punished severely for their unforgivable crimes against the religious order.
When Jesus came onto the scene the religious leaders expected their traditions and hierarchical structures to be reinforced, not undermined by Him, and were shocked when they saw Jesus cheering for the underdog:
‘The Pharisees and the teachers of the Law started grumbling saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” – Luke 15:2
Instead of ignoring them, Jesus gave value to the very people these leaders regarded as dirty and worthless. He was always found on the edges of the crowd, and ‘no matter what their disease [or state of their heart’s] were, the touch of his hand healed every one’ – Luke 4:40 (NLT)
Jesus had no time for people who claimed to love God yet treat other humans as though they had a lesser value than themselves. But He gave all the time in the world to those whose hearts were open to Him, regardless of how complicated their past had been.
Jesus had more joy “over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who… haven’t strayed away!” – Luke 15:7 (NLT)
Follow Jesus and pursue the fringe dweller with the loving touch of your hand. As you do, they will rise to overcome the odds!