Part One: The Consummate Outsider
Jesus is an outsider. Always has been, always will be. As he begins to be revealed to the world, again and again the outsiders recognize and receive him while the insiders ignore him and reject him.
Case in point: the Zoroastrian astrologers from the East. Somehow they make the connection that a new star that pops up in the sky represents the fulfillment of their understanding of prophecy that a new king for the Jewish people would be born. And they go, with gifts, to pay their respects. They start at the Jewish capital, Jerusalem, to meet with the current head of state.
When they ask Herod where the newborn king of the Jews is, Herod is deeply troubled. This is not good news for him or the other powerful in Jerusalem. Herod pulls in his wisemen to ask them if their prophetic understanding matched the pagans. They say yes and direct the wisemen to Bethlehem. So the pagans move on, but Herod and his crew stay behind. Later we discover that Herod actually kills all the two and under crowd to make sure no baby was going to take his throne. None of the Jewish insiders go to Jesus. The outsiders go to Jesus.
As you study the life of Jesus you will always see him at odds with the political, economic and religious insiders of society. He is always a threat to them and a salvation to the outsider. Who really wants Jesus’ salvation? People who know the world isn’t right because their world isn’t right. Those of us whose world is decent don’t need a new king. We’re doing fine under the current administration. But if we actually want to be where Jesus is, we might need to start looking for him where the world isn’t right.