“Into this world, this demented inn, in which there is absolutely no room for him at all, Christ has come uninvited. But because he cannot be at home in it, because he is out of place in it, his place is with those others for whom there is no room. His place is with those who do not belong, who are rejected by power because they are regarded as weak, those who are discredited, who are deprived the status of persons, those who are tortured, bombed and exterminated. With those for whom there is no room, Christ is present in the world . . . it is in these that he hides himself.” (Thomas Merton)
Jesus came into our world uninvited and there was absolutely no room for him. He came for those for whom there is no room. These thoughts by Thomas Merton have been reverberating in my mind since I read them recently and finally spawned the question, “Who DID Jesus come for?” The answers are found in Scripture.
After her encounter with the Angel and his message of the birth of Jesus, Mary went to see her older cousin, Elizabeth, who was also miraculously pregnant. That visit gave birth to Mary’s Song, Luke 1:46-55, a beautiful hymn to God’s grace and mercy. Jesus came for those who are broken and humble and hungry.
“His mighty arm has done tremendous things! He has scattered the proud and haughty ones. He has brought down princes from their thrones and exalted the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away with empty hands.”
During his ministry, Jesus named the people he came for:
He came for “other” people: “We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. That is why I came” (Mark 1:38 NLT).
He came for sinners: “This is a trustworthy saying, “Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15 NLT).
He came for the marginalized. “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, He has anointed Me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim that captives will be released, the blind will see, the oppressed will be set free, and the time of the LORD’s favor has come” (Luke 4:18-19 NLT).
But most of all, Jesus came for you and me. “I came so you can have real and eternal life, more and better life than you ever dreamed of” (John 10:10 MSG).