*originally written April 23, 2019
I was born and raised in Southern Illinois. I never went without; I always had a roof over my head, a comfortable bed, plenty of food, toys, friends, and a family who loved me. I had everything anyone ever needed. I was always taught that Jesus loves me, God created all of us, and He loves us all.
I can remember the first time a peer said something to me about a “rich family” and how I need to be a particular kid’s friend if I wanted to be somebody. (It was Jr High. Anyone surprised?) But this peer was surprised I had never heard of the family, the rich people, and that I was unimpressed. That has to be the first time I began to be aware that people thought like that. My parents just never talked that way.
My dad always worked, and my mother took care of the kids and the house. We had a home-cooked meal every night. Geez, this is beginning to sound like Leave It to Beaver or something, but it’s true. My parents weren’t involved in politics or social clubs. They didn’t hob-knob or rub elbows with the “important people”. I guess you could say they weren’t like that rich family. You could say they were people of no reputation.
In Luke Chapter 9, Jesus was with his disciples and asked them who the people, the crowds, say he is. They answered several different things:
19 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.”
But then he asked Simon Peter specifically:
20 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Peter answered, “God’s Messiah.”
We’ve just celebrated the resurrection of Jesus. The man had the clothes on his back and the sandals on his feet. He was accused, beaten, crucified, dead, and buried in a borrowed tomb. There’s a song that has been on my mind as I’ve reflected over the holiday weekend. It’s called Man of No Reputation by Rick Elias. You can hear it here>>> https://youtu.be/31BF0jFSIBU
An unassuming man with no possessions changed the world. He spoke to large crowds, but he kept his circle small. The crowds speculated as to who he was, but his friends knew. Peter knew he was God’s Messiah.
Now, let me be clear; I have nothing against social clubs and rich people. I’m certainly not dogging anyone in any way. But I will say, never underestimate the unassuming underdog; the man of no reputation.