(The Story of John Stein written by Mary Alysse Dodds)
Jesus walked past the politicians and their death threats to a homeless man with a crippled hand. He’d never met the man before, but he reached out his hand and healed him. The politicians gasped, and began plotting. Everyone was amazed, and so am I.
Jesus amazes me that’s why I follow him.
I’ve never heard of anyone like Jesus. At twelve Jesus taught some of the most powerful men of the land, but he chose not to become one of them. Thousands followed Jesus, but he chose to touch the lepers, those outcast even by their own families. Jesus had the attention of kings and politicians, but he ate with the friendless.
Leaving crowds of followers, Jesus washed the filthy feet of his friends. When many would have paid for his healing powers, Jesus was homeless. Still, he fed the hungry. He proved what he told his followers, “The greatest is a servant.”
And not just his friends. Jesus loved his enemies, even people his friends despised.
“Why would you talk to her?” Jesus’ closest friends asked. “She’s an ethnic enemy, a cockroach, an immoral woman looked down on even
by her own family.” But Jesus risked reputation because he saw value.
No one has redefined love and morality like Jesus. No one has championed the weak and societal outcast like Jesus. No one has been so bold, kind, and sacrificial.
Jesus always did what was right. Riches, position, even death did not dissuade him. The self-righteous hated him. The lepers and sinners loved him. The weak felt safe around Jesus, and the crooked authorities feared him.
With a resume like his, Jesus could have been one of the most powerful young adults in Israel. But he opposed the powerful, he chose anguish, he chose death as criminal. Jesus loved the friend who betrayed him to death, he prayed for those who spit in his face, and Jesus chose to die for the weak when he could have ruled the powerful.
Jesus didn’t have to die. God didn’t have to leave perfection to come to this painful world. But God weeps, he suffers, he is emotionally hurt by what we do, by how we treat him. God chose to care, to cry at our death like he did by Lazarus’s tomb. Jesus cares so much, our life is worth his death.
There’s no one else that I’d rather be like. And there’s no one else I’d rather spend eternity with. That’s why I’m a Christian.
John Stein is husband, father of five (including me), and grandfather of ten and counting. He’s a software engineer who spent four years in China studying Bible translation. He wears whatever’s most comfortable or suits his mood (if it gets a rise, good). He plays the bass, but his favorite pastime is thinking. Though he’s a recluse, he can talk for hours about God and he cries for persecuted Christians.