I have been thinking about a story in John. It starts in John chapter 9 and runs through chapter 10. It is about a man who was born blind whom Jesus heals and the Pharisees kick out of the synagogue in reaction. This story says so many things to me but today I was thinking especially about verse 35. If you are interested in reading the whole story, check out this link: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=john%209&version=NIV
This blind man was the “marginalized” of his day. He was a man who was “outside the gate” partly because he was blind and unable to work but also because people then believed the cause of his blindness was sin, either his sin or his parent’s. Until he met Jesus there was no one in his corner. I am amazed, first at the cruelty of Jesus’ disciples (talking to Jesus about this blind man right in front of him as if he didn’t even exist!) Then I’m amazed at Jesus’ defense of him and at how that defense gave this blind man the boldness to stand up to the Pharisees even to the point of being thrown out of the synagogue. (which was much worse than being asked to leave a church… but on a similar vein).
The thing that amazes me is that after this man is thrown out, Jesus seeks him out. I get the impression He deliberately goes to find him. At the same time Jesus is saying that He is the gate… that He is the one who says you are “in” or you are “out”. The blind man, though he was humiliated and ostracized by the religious leaders, was one of Jesus’ “in”.
I have always found it intriguing that Jesus didn’t often hunt people down. He never put much effort into convincing people. He just said, “follow me” and kept on walking. Those that were ready, followed Him, and those that weren’t were left to their decision. This is one of few(actually I can think of another time!) times when he turned around and went back for someone. Since I count myself among the “marginalized” that thought and this passage blesses me :)