Photo Credit: Greg Weaver.
A misfit is a person who is not suited in behavior or attitude for a particular environment. When I read the Bible, I think many of the people Jesus spent time with would fit into the misfit category. Even His disciples were a ragtag bunch of stank fishermen (Mark 1:16-17), tax collectors (Luke 5:27-28) and thieves (John 12:4-6). He was criticized for hanging out with “tax collectors and sinners” (Luke 5:30). During Jesus’ lifetime, tax collectors were particularly reviled. They were Jews who were seen as traitors for collaborating with the oppressive Roman government and no self- respecting Jew would have anything to do with them.
So, imagine the surprise and disgust of the local Jewish religious leaders when they see this man who had been proclaiming the kingdom of God very comfortable in the company of the outcasts and those considered the nobodies of society. But Jesus never played it safe with the company He kept. Even when He encountered a so-called scandalous woman (John 4), He demonstrated the love of God, showed compassion and offered a way out of her situation. Jesus presents a way out and a way in at the same time.
Out of a former life of sin and into the Kingdom of God. Jesus is very much attracted to misfits; liars, cheaters, sexual deviants, murderers, drug addicts, prostitutes, pole dancers, alcoholics, adulterers and the list goes on and on. And in the words of the Apostle Paul, such were some of us (I Corinthians 6:11). But we have been washed, sanctified and justified by our Lord Jesus.
So, if you find yourself in the company of persons of questionable character, remember what your character was like before you had an encounter with Jesus. And if religious folk criticize you because of it, remind them that Jesus Himself hung out with misfits and they have turned the world upside down.