The apostle Paul said;
‘Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.’ –1 Corinthians 1:26-30
Notice who God chooses?
God chose the foolish, the weak, the lowly, the despised, the nothings…to shame the wise…
So if God chose those people, shouldn’t we also search for such people in our quest to make disciples of nations?
The Samaritan Woman [read John 4:3-42]
Take for example the Samaritan woman…what was unusual or abnormal about this situation?
A number of things.
Jesus had to go through Samaria, a region Jews would normally avoid. He talks to a woman at a well. This is something Jesus’ disciples were surprised at when they returned from shopping in the local village. She is a Samaritan and Jews don’t associate with Samaritans. It’s midday, an unusual time to be getting water from a well. Jesus gets into spiritual conversation with her almost immediately. He goes straight to the heart. He makes an ‘I AM’ statement and ends up staying in the village for 2 days. The whole village comes to believe in Jesus- not just because of what the woman says, but because they met Jesus for themselves. They say; ‘We know this is the Saviour of the World’
The Samaritan Woman was abnormal. She had previously had five husbands, and the man she was currently living with was not her husband. She immediately went and told the village, ‘come, see a man who told me everything I’ve ever done‘
Until you find the abnormally prepared person – nothing will work. They are so convicted by God- they want their entire family and friends to hear about Jesus!
So from meeting this one woman, a whole village comes to believe in Jesus!
Notice that Jesus also did quite a few unusual things, including being prepared to stay in the village until the work was done.
Are you willing to do things that are unusual?
The Guy with the Legion of Demons [read Luke 8:26-39]
This guy was so abnormal, he would run around tombs naked whilst screaming. No matter how many times he had been put in chains to restrain him, he had broken free of them. When Jesus arrived, the man ran towards him shrieking, ‘What are you doing here! Have you come to torture us before the appointed time?’ The demons inside the man knew who Jesus was. They begged Jesus not to cast them out of the region. Jesus asked them their name, to which they replied; ‘Legion, for we are many’.
Jesus drove the demons out of the man and into the pigs feeding on the hillside. As a result 2,000 pigs ran down the hill and drowned in the lake below. The people from the surrounding towns saw the man sat clothed and in his right mind. They begged Jesus to leave the region. The man wanted to go with Jesus but Jesus said, ‘Go and tell your friends and family what the Lord has done for you!’ So the man went out and told 10 towns in that region!
So from meeting this one man, 10 towns come to hear his story of how Jesus set him free!
That’s pretty abnormal!
The first time Jesus went to The Decapolis (10 Towns) He got kicked out. But the second time, the people of that region brought all the sick and demon possessed to him!
This abnormal person made quite an impact on that entire region for Jesus!
Zacchaeus the Chief Tax Collector [read Luke 19:1-10]
Zacchaeus was a notably small man. He was the chief tax collector of the region. He went out of his way to see Jesus by climbing a sycamore tree. When Jesus came to the tree, he stopped and called to Zacchaeus; ‘Come down from the tree, I’m coming to be a guest at your house today!’
The people in the crowd were indignant. ‘He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner’, they grumbled
After Jesus spent some time at Zacchaeus’ house, Zacchaeus declared; ‘I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people of their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!’ Jesus responded, ‘Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost’
Imagine the impact of that. The poor in that region received half of Zacchaeus’ wealth, plus those he had cheated in that region received back 4 times the amount stolen!
Zacchaeus was certainly an abnormal man who made some pretty abnormal decisions based on his encounter with Jesus!
Notice that Jesus invited himself to Zacchaeus’ house…
We may not always get an invite. We may need to do the unusual thing and invite ourselves to the abnormal person’s house!
When meeting such people, after offering prayer and/or sharing the gospel we can ask these Four Questions;
- Would You Like to Know More?
- Where Can We Meet You?
- Who Else Do You Know That Might Be Interested?
- What Time and Date?
So we’ve looked at 3 abnormal people in this short study
A Woman who has been married many times, but on encountering Jesus, wins an entire village
A Man who runs around naked and out of his mind, when encountering Jesus, goes and tells 10 towns
A Man who is the chief tax collector and has cheated people out of their money, returning 4 times as much so economic justice comes to a whole region
Jesus fished for abnormal people – Jesus got them to do abnormal things – sell everything and give to the poor, spit in mud- wash in the pool- go into the deep and throw out nets – give these people something to eat – put your hand to the plow, and don’t turn back…
Who Are You Searching For?
What kind of people are you searching for?
Are you searching for the foolish, weak, despised people? Those who will give up everything to follow Jesus?
Or are you looking for normal people?
Perhaps you’re not looking at all?
Jesus found the woman at the well, the man at the tombs and Zacchaeus up a tree
He went to the village of the woman, sent the man to his family and friends and invited himself into Zacchaeus’ house
As you follow the leading of the Holy Spirit on your search for Abnormal People, who knows where you might end up!?
[Thanks to Steve Smith from whom I first heard the principle of the Abnormal Person]
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