Isn’t it funny how oblivious we can be to some very obvious things in our lives?
For the first 28 years of my life I thought that I was invincible. I was the guy who raced my Mustang through the neighborhood, and would ride my motorcycle 100 miles per hour down the highway. I thought I was completely in control of everything. But then my wife Lynn had a miscarriage and we lost our first child. I started to question if there really was a God.
This is a long and exciting story for another day, but in September of 1985 both Lynn and I made the decision to follow Jesus; and a week later we stumbled into a small conservative church in our town of Ada, Michigan. After the service was over, the young pastor named Brian greeted the congregation in the back of the church as people left the sanctuary. When the moment came for Lynn and I to introduce ourselves to him I said, “HEY, THAT WAS ONE HELL OF A SERMON!” Brian roared with laughter although it quickly became clear he was the only one laughing. Now remember that I was brand new in my faith and fairly un-churched at this time; and even though my comment was sincere and was meant as a compliment, most people looking in my direction had raised eyebrows. Clearly, I was oblivious to the obvious that people in church spoke differently then me, my neighbors, coworkers etc.
The beauty of this story is that Brian didn’t judge me, or make me feel awkward or unwanted. Instead Brian and his wife Judy befriended Lynn and I, and invested heavily in us over the better part of the next year discipling us. To this day we remain fabulous friends.
After Greg Jr came out as gay, Lynn
and I found ourselves swimming in the deep end of the pool desperately seeking to learn more about Jesus’s character. We studied who he hung out with, what he had to say, and how he treated people. What I learned along the way is that Jesus was filled with grace to people who were oblivious to the obvious.
One of my very favorite stories in the bible, and one that exemplifies this is found in John 8:2 -11. You may or may not be familiar with the story but picture this setting.
At dawn he (Jesus) appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
There are so many things in this story that speak to the hearts of the religious leaders and Pharisees.
Imagine a world where people who follow Jesus choose to stand alongside the oppressed and hurting people just as he would.
Think About It
Are your eyes open to seeing clearly not only what is before you, but what is in the mirror? What would your relationship with the LGBTQ community look like if you followed Jesus's example?