I have a good friend who used to live in Norman. In many ways, he looked like “one of us.” His clothes were not odd, his accent not distant, his interests not dissimilar. In fact, he lived in our fair city for a decade, and had a positive and productive influence on many while he was here.
Despite all the ways he “fit in,” there was something about him that was very odd. He was a UT grad. In fact he was a Longhorn FAN . . . an apologist if you will. On Saturdays, when everyone else would wear Crimson, he would wear orange. For some strange reason he insisted on calling the Red Rival Rivalry the “Texas/OU game” not “OU/Texas.” The decal on his car had the ‘Horns right side up, not upside down. In short, he had to learn to live in a land that rejected something he loved.
I was thinking about that (humorous) example today as I thought of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. From the very first days when Jesus came to the earth, people rejected Him. The Scribes and the Pharisees formed a very famous and powerful opposition to Jesus’ earthly ministry. In the millennia since then people from various cultures have unintentionally mimicked the response of the first century religious elites in their rejection of the Son of God.
As Christians, we must learn how to live in a world that rejects the Jesus we love. Jesus was teaching that lesson to the “First Responders” in Matthew 12-13. Over the months of April and May at Wildwood we have been looking at Jesus’ interactions with those who first responded to Him. This Sunday, we will conclude our series by looking at Matthew 12:33-50 together as we learn how to wear His colors in a land that thinks we are quite odd. See you Sunday!