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Searching for Abnormal People

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?

Abnormal People

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]

For more on Finding the Person of Peace CLICK HERE

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Peter J. Farmer

Peter J. Farmer is a church planter working with teams and networks to catalyze new forms of church that murmurate into movements...

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Martin Flanagan

    Thank you for sharing this bro Peter.. its very though provoking to read and digest.. I have recently joined by invitation of my bro Johnny Crawford the brotherhood of Men of valor, which I belive you are a member of.. I am a young bro in christ, to many of my bros in this group, and only just been baptised in my new church fellowship in Halifax. I have to work virtually every sat and alternate Saturday, but the Lord knows my heart, and soon as I can make the 1st sat of every month a free day off, I cannot wait to be in the same room with you all.. and share the wonderful testimony of my coming to christ, on a bed of quiet serious life threatening illnesses.. and how he saved my physical body twice, and more importantly my spiritual soul. Am so blessed and such a happy man in life only because of him.. God bless bro…until we meet.. your bro in christ Martin

    1. Peter J. Farmer

      Sounds like you have quite a testimony of what Jesus has done for you bro! Look forward to meeting you in person Martin!

      1. Martin Flanagan

        Yeah bro Peter I am truly blessed by the Lord to be forgiven from my wretched former life.. I looked at corinthians 1 26.30 and its like its just about me and my old self.. I came to christ on a journey of life changing ill health.. and I’m so grateful that through this very bad situation in my life, he used that for his glory. And has given me a testimony that I love to speak off to those, who where just like me, but being honest i can honestly say to those who I have witnessed to, that what you have done, I have done far worse, i belive.. I have been out on 3 occasions with my bro Johnny, and 1 other evangelist called David.. on street mission’s.. I remember being with bro David, as he was preaching, and it was very volatile to say the least, large grounds around him, and you could feel the rage, and demonic anger all around me.. it was only the second time I had ever been out evangelising.. so for someone like me, just starting to get to know my farther, and as I am now still learning his word and growing within that word, it was a quite a eye opening and scenario for want of a better word, to find myself in the very middle of, but weirdly to myself at that time, I wasn’t scared of what was going on around me. All of which was going on while bro David was preaching.. I just kept quiet and listened to and watched those who where very vocal, in their anger and objection of what Bro David was trying to tell them. I found myself being drawn to those same very angry individuals who where the loudest, and as they seemed to me, the most aggressive… just very calmly and with love for them, asking if I could just speak with them, about my life and who I used to be, and as I said, just like them and worse.. and sharing my testimony. I remember feeling so much love for them, hoping my words would have some effect on them, only God knows that… ultimately I guess. But also walking away from that unknown and volatile situation I found myself in, having had some I belive anyway!! Really calm and good conversations, with those who showed total hatred towards my bro David that day.. and felt so happy and for the Lord giving me that opportunity.. I suppose when I think about looking for that man or woman of peace, I think of that day, and when look at that person, I am looking at me, and who I was. As I said on probably my first few comments on mmv, I do not have a knowledge of the bible, as I know many of my bros do have in this great brotherhood, but I have always been a peace maker in my life, before being saved by the Lord.. but now I know and understand that wonderful gift he has given me.. and hopefully in my walk and in my simple words, I can with the Lords help, make men of peace by him in me. And in turn , they to will pass that on to others, like I used to be.. and give their lives to Jesus. Hope all this rambling makes sense bro.. can’t wait to meet you all, and grow with you all…much love.. your bro Martin. Ps, forgive my bad spelling and punctuation.. not a gift from the lord, mmmm or is it lol..

        1. Peter J. Farmer

          Wow! You have such an amazing story of what Jesus has done for you Martin!

          You remind me of the man in this article I wrote who after meeting Jesus went on to tell 10 towns about it (see Mark 5:1-20)!

          I pray God will give you more boldness to speak for Him and spiritual power to heal the sick and drive out demons as you go out to preach in towns across the North!

    2. Lee horsfall

      That’s not Fishers of men Halifax by any chance is it?

      1. Martin Flanagan

        No bro Lee, it’s a church called Grace baptist church in Halifax.. my first true church fellowship in my relatively short walk with the Lord, to probably many of my learned brethren in men of valor, I would imagine..

  2. Lee horsfall

    Jesus came for sinners,
    So often that’s seemed to be the outcasts, the disenfranchised, the misfits.

    It’s almost as if those who are on the fringes are more able to see the world for what it really is and have less to lose by throwing in with Jesus.

  3. Lee

    Ilkeston is fullofem!

  4. Martin Flanagan

    Thank you Peter, my job brings me into contact with people I have never met before, 3 to 4 days per week, and when I feel the moment is right, I tell people of my journey and the wonders and great miracles the Lord has done in my life, and how he can and will do the same for them, if they call out to him.. I spoke to 2 lady’s actually last week, and shared my testimony, and it made them both cry. Please God, a small seed may have been planted that day, only the farther knows. It would be a great blessing and anointing if the Lord where to give me such gifts, i can only pray into this. but he will show me my path.. its all for his glory bro. Until I meet all of my beloved brethren on here, be blessed bro…

  5. Mike

    Great blog – thanks! We’ll keep looking for the abnormal people in Sneinton, Nottingham. We’re believing for many to come to faith … and for a river of life to be released from the East of the city, and to flow through the whole city. Lord – show us where to go – lead us to the right people, who are ready to respond to the truth of your word. Excited!!

  6. Paul

    Thanks for the article Peter – challenging as usual. I think that for those who are actively looking for person’s of peace in their communities, this is really helpful because, to me, it says, “Don’t just look for people who look like you”, and “Sometimes, those who society think are ‘the worst’, can turn out to be most fruitful in the Kingdom.’. For me personally, the article challenges me to give more time to people I meet but would normally not really engage with (part from saying ‘Hello’) because I have nothing in common with them.

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