Ministry In The Margins

Ministry In The Margins

Posted on 24. Aug, 2010 by in Kingdom Lifestyle

During my devotional reading this morning I came upon a gospel narrative that was very thought provoking and convicting. So many times we talk about being a follower of Jesus, desiring to manifest the miraculous power of his kingdom: As His sent representatives, this is one of the things we are commissioned to do. Yet… there is another aspect of the good news of the kingdom I/we are not manifesting, that is, how Jesus ministered to the marginalized and disenfranchised (aka: the poor and social outcasts).

In mark 1:40-42, Jesus has an encounter with one of these outcasts of society – a leper. This scenario gives quite an illustration of ministering the good news of the kingdom, beyond the miraculous. Some insights include:

1. The leper recognized Jesus had the goods

“If you will, you can make me whole.” There was obviously something in the manner of Jesus’ life that this leper saw that gave  him faith that Jesus could answer the biggest need of his life.

So this leads me to the soul searching question: Is there enough visible evidence in my life to let people know what I have available?

2. The leper felt comfortable to approach Jesus

There were strict rules of society regarding lepers and their visibility in public. Yet this man was willing to risk the outcome because he believed Jesus would accept him.

Spoken or unspoken, we have “rules” in our societies on the interaction of the marginalized and disenfranchised. Even within the confines of the church we find that many do not feel welcome if they do not measure up to the status quo of what they see in the average member.

Again, must ask myself, Do people feel comfortable enough to approach me?

3. Jesus was moved with compassion

Jesus response was not typical of society: He was “moved with compassion.” Not only did he NOT shirk away, his compassion caused him to move or do something.

How many times do I/we avoid the interaction with the marginalized or disenfranchised? At best we do programs to “minister” and not get involved. “The poor do not want to be a program.” – The Total Church

4. Jesus touched the untouchable

Jesus took a risk based on societal standards: he touched the untouchable. By Mosaic Law, Jesus would have become unclean himself.

I/we need to step out and take a “risk.” To demo the kingdom, we must move beyond the comforts of our lives and step into the areas that others in society would not go.

Real ministry to the marginalized and outcast will produce a twofold results: The First, someone’s life can be transformed. Second, others will see the power of our God.

“In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Mt 5:16”

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3 Responses to “Ministry In The Margins”

  1. PaulB Thomas

    26. Aug, 2010

    I like this and will say in the process, ‘Lord help me’? fanatstic keys which I can think about and indeed re-evaluate things I do based on this criteria..

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  2. Rodney Barlow

    07. Sep, 2010

    What did the Bible say about true religion again… this is good!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Paul

    25. Jun, 2012

    I especially like the last point “Jesus touched the untoucheable.” If we applied this priciple would have no boundaries and prejudices that could stop us from being influencial and indeed apostolic!

    Thanks Martin for a fabulous post

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