Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fighting Awkwardness for Christ’s Sake

“And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well” (Matt. 9.20-22).

There seems to be nothing worse than an awkward situation. We hate feeling that way. We fill up our conversations with meaningless ‘chit-chat’ so that there are no moments of silence for us to feel uncomfortable. On a trip to the local mall one day I reached for the door handle and touched hands with another dude. Boy that was awkward!

In an effort to stay comfortable we stick with the friends we have and avoid interacting with others. But Jesus wasn’t like that. Jesus was willing to put himself in situations that we would deem ‘awkward’ for the sake of the gospel of the kingdom. In his day the woman who came to touch Jesus would be considered unclean. This would make her somewhat of a social outcast since those who she came in contact with would also be seen as unclean. People avoided these kinds of women.

As Christians we are called to act as the body of Christ. Jesus’ followers are to show the world what it looks like when Jesus becomes king, tell them that Jesus is Lord and how they might come under his rule (i.e. repenting of their sins and turning to the Lord of the world in faith alone). This means that we should be willing to put ourselves in awkward situations; even if it means that we might be seen as being ‘unclean’. Jesus is our new temple where we can go for ‘cermonial washing’ so we don’t have to fear being made dirty. Worship Christ not hand sanitizer.

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