Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.
Hebrews 10:32-35 (NIV)
Jesus had a reputation of not keeping company with the “right crowd” – corrupt tax collectors, smelly fishermen, a woman living in adultery – not the crowd you would think a king would keep company with, right? Then why would Jesus actively pursue a relationship with them? Why would He choose to spend his short period of ministry with them, to do life with them? In our condition of sinners we are no better than that crowd was, so why would He choose to die for them (us) in order to cleanse them (us) of their (our) sin?
He chose to stand side by side with them, to do life with them, because He was the light sent to shine into the darkness of their sins and make them whole and worthy – friends of God. As followers and imitators of Christ – people who also carry His light in our lives – we, too, are called to walk, do life and minister to the unfriended.
Are you willing to stand side by side with the least of these who have suffered injustice and abuse? Better yet, are you willing to stand beside those who are not the “right crowd” and do life with them? Suffer rejection with them? It is not always easy to do this. In fact, it will probably be one of the hardest things you will ever do, but He promises you will be “richly rewarded”. I’m pretty sure that reward will include others acknowledging you to be an imitator of Christ, a reflection of His love and bearer of His light!
Jesus has seized you to be a side-by-side stander (not bystander)!
This is the fourth in the “Seized to Be A Friend to the Unfriended” series of blog posts and is a special submission from Mandy Herrera from The Potter’s House Association, our partner in Guatemala.