The instruction left by our Lord in way of a Great Commission and a Great Commandment,
“Go… everywhere, and love as I have loved.” ~ Jesus
What then is it that compels the followers of Jesus to go and love? After all, going and loving can be messy. It means giving and getting into the lives of those who live outside the walls of our norm; outside the doors of our churches even.
It is a matter then of living outside the camp that persuades us to do those things bringing pleasant discomfort; those things attractively undesirable; those things lay upon our hearts that the religious do not understand.
The author to the Hebrews admonished his hearers to go out of the gates. “There is nothing in the camp but dried up religion,” states he, then, “So let’s go outside! It is where Jesus is!” Hebrews 13:10-15
The religious do not go there because it smells bad and is very uncomfortable. ~ Matt Boyd
Look at the text for yourselves; it is undeniable. We are with the Lord Jesus when we are outside the camp where we bear the reproach He endured.
Why; because we have no lasting city here. We are not enamored by this world, but are ever looking for the city not made by men’s hands. We are sojourners.
Take a stroll through Scripture and acknowledge where Jesus was tender and where He was scornful. To the religious He was sharp. To prostitutes, tax collectors, and just plain old admitted sinners, Jesus was compassionate.
When we live outside the camp, we grasp we are just another one of those sinners and that we are totally dependent on God’s mercy and grace… so He is praised; He is given all credible glory, and we remain desperate for His nearness.
Outside the camp is not necessarily a geographical location. Outside the camp may just be the school house up the road, or the neighbor’s house next door, or even the room where your child sleeps tonight. Outside the camp is much more to do with the heart than with locale. The only given we have is that outside the camp is the only place where we will find the welcoming arms of Jesus.
I’m inclined to ask here where my tent is pitched; within or without the gates? The Author and Finisher of our faith calls from one.
Inspired by my precious friend serving outside the gates in a far away land.