Love for the Outcasts…

The three stories in Mark 5 deal with Jesus interacting with different kinds out outcasts — people whom He shouldn’t have been in contact with . These three people were: a man with the unclean spirits who was (more than likely) a naked Gentile who was beaten and bloodied; a Jewish woman who had been ceremonially unclean for 12 years; and a dead body (a young girl who had died). This is a point made my Rodney Cooper in the Holman New Testament Commentary on Mark.

Both the man and the woman would not have been able to be around people because of their conditions. They were lonely and alone. They were abandoned by their own people — for different reasons — but the results were the same.

And then Jesus enters the picture…

Jesus sees more than we can even imagine, and brings salvation to all who will believe. Jesus, instead of avoiding the outcasts, is One who makes reaching them a priority. He is constantly with the “tax collectors and sinners.” He reaches out to the outcast to let them know that they are loved.

Imagine how they must have felt after coming in contact with Jesus? They were finally able to be around people. The man is able to have a sane conversation… He is able to go on and live a normal life. The woman can finally come back and be a part of society. Imagine how she must have felt to be called daughter!

The reality is that without Jesus we are all outcasts, but Jesus reaches down to us to let us know that we are loved! It doesn’t matter where we come from, Jesus comes for us. Jew or Gentile (all ethnicities)… man or woman… adult or child. In this chapter we see Jesus reach them all!

Through his contact with three outcasts, Jesus demonstrates true compassion…”

Rodney Cooper, Holman New Testament Commentary: Mark, p. 87

Isn’t this the desire for every church, especially one that is seeking to be not only multi-generational but multiethnic? To reach all people, regardless or age or social status — regardless of how they speak or what they look like — and let them know that Jesus loves them and died for them!

May this be our goal as we seek to be like Jesus, and to be His hands and feet!

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