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Jonathan Martin @theboyonthebike
, 12 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Hebrews 13.12-13: “Therefore Jesus also suffered outside the city gate in order to sanctify the people by his own blood. Let us then go to him outside the camp and bear the abuse he endured.” My, my. Go TO Jesus. Where? Outside the camp. Why? To bear rejection alongside him.
No matter who you are or where you are, conscious awareness of God’s presence will come & go. But I’m convinced that many of us rarely sense the presence simply because we don’t go to Jesus where he is—outside the camp, outside the gate.
The two disciples encounter Jesus on the road to Emmaus—not in Jerusalem, where the temple is, but on the road away from it. You don’t have to find God in the temple. God is on the road...because on the road is where you are.
The entire Christian story hinges on this: Jesus gives up his status to go outside the camp, & be rejected for our sake. To follow Jesus, is to follow him there—outside the establishment. A little bit further than your people are willing to go. Far enough to be an outsider.
“But what does it look like to follow Jesus inside the camp, inside the gate?” Oh, there’s not really a way. To follow Jesus at all; is to follow him outside the lines. That’s where he is! If that’s not where your going, is it Jesus you are following?
To enter into solidarity with God is to enter into solidarity with those who suffer outside the boundaries. There simply is no other way to intimacy with God. If knowing God is your intention, you have to go where God is.
The entire movement of the gospel is downward: Heaven to earth. The King of Glory leaves his place, to make space for us. Walking with Jesus is always a descent, always the way of going lower. In short, following Jesus is a way of perpetually giving up your seat.
Ah but you say—“Our gate, the limits of our camp, were set by God himself! God can’t be beyond them!” Read closer. God set the boundaries of the temple, too. God said he’d be “in here,” not “out there.” Then God in Christ...went out there. For us! B/c God decided we were worth it
This is a troubling word, I know. B/c each of our communities have different gates/different definitions of what it means to be outside the camp. And you wonder, “what does it mean to say God is found outside the gate of my community?” Probably what you’re most afraid it means.
I cannot take the sting out of this for you. Somebody is wrestling with this, not because it makes you angry, but because it genuinely troubles your soul. I can’t calm those waters. I can only tell you to take it to prayer. Test the spirits, to see if this is of God.
I understand that you fear that if you go outside the camp, you’ll be alone there. But I ask you sincerely: is Christ is found there, how alone can you be? Your soul knows the truth of it. Follow the sound of his voice. Keep coming.
Finally, recalling @cewgreen’s summation of the book of Romans: “God would rather not be God, than be God without us.” Selah.
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