You can feel left out at any age—it can happen in grade school when they’re picking teams for kickball. It can happen in high school, when you’re not invited to a cool kid’s party. It can happen in college when a girl you like doesn’t reciprocate. It can happen as a parent or a grandparent. In Matthew 8:1-3 we meet a man who was left out to an extreme degree— he had leprosy and had to yell “Unclean, unclean!” wherever he went. It was as if he yelled “Left out, left out!” Was there ever a time when you made someone feel left out? Lepers were left out, but Jesus welcomed this one. Do you include people, or exclude them?
Matthew 8.1-3 – When Jesus came down from the mountain, large crowds followed him, and a leper came to him and bowed down before him, and He said to Him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
The leper said, “If you’re willing, you can make me clean.” He didn’t ask if Jesus’ power was sufficient. He asked if his heart was sufficient to find room for such an outcast. Jesus touched him—that was unlawful! We need to be approachable. We’re trying to build the kingdom. To do that, we have to avoid making people feel left out.
Application / Challenge
- Build God’s kingdom by lovingly including those who are being left out.