“What would you say to the woman who feels like a misfit?” the woman interviewing me asked.
As I considered the question, all the situations in which I’ve felt like an outcast or outsider flitted through my mind: as a young girl on the playground, as an awkward teen at the dance, as a college student in a new dorm, as a graduate entering the workforce, as a first-time mom secluded with a newborn, as a visitor to a new church, as a woman with convictions that differed from those of my peers, as a beginner in a career of seasoned veterans…
After a moment, I answered: “I’d first say, I’ve felt like a misfit too in various seasons throughout my life.”
The truth is, not only have I felt like a misfit in the past, sometimes I still experience situations that cause me to question if I fit. Though I’ve gotten older, time has not erased my desire to be included.
As I’ve searched the Bible for a solution to the ache to belong, I’ve realized that Jesus Himself felt like an outsider. Scripture tells us, “Jesus was in the world, and the world was made through Him, but the world did not recognize Him. He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him” (John 1:10-11).
Doesn’t it amaze you that, although Jesus created the world, the people He created didn’t recognize Him? However, the Good News for us is there is a “yet” in the verses that follow this sad reality. It reads, “Yet, to all those who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, children born not of natural descent, not of human decision or of husbands, but born of God (John 1:12-13).”
In essence, God is saying that being born of God places you in His family. This truth alone reassures us that regardless of where we belong in an earthly sense, we forever belong to Him.
Knowing His secure place in the family of God, Jesus intentionally, lovingly pursued outcasts. Let’s take a look at how Jesus treated the misfits through the stories of the woman at the well, the lepers, and Zaccheaus….