Sticking Out Like a Sore Thumb

He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. But to all who did receive Him, He gave them the right to be children of God., to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God.”     John 1:11-13 HCSB

Charles Spurgeon wrote a sermon on this Scripture passage which he titled, The Simplicity and Sublimity of Salvation. Salvation is simple. It requires action on our part. We must draw near to God. We must accept the fact that we are a sinner in need of a Savior. We must believe in Jesus Christ and surrender our lives to Him. This is simple enough to do, but it will cause us to stick out like a sore thumb.

Growing up when someone was a little different, we would say they stuck out like a sore thumb.

In Luke 4:15-25, Jesus went into His hometown of Nazareth and went to the synagogue and read from the scroll explaining who He was and what He had come to do. He told them in verse 21, “Today, the Scripture has been fulfilled.”

These people had been waiting for the Messiah promised to them through the prophets of the Old Testament. The Messiah had come to them from their own hometown and through their bloodlines, but they rejected Him. We are told in verse 22 they were amazed by the things He said, yet they said, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” They knew Him and had watched Him grow from a young boy, this was Joseph’s boy, so He couldn’t possibly be the Messiah.

In verse 24, Jesus told them, “I assure you: No prophet is accepted in His hometown.” His own people rejected Him. I have a news flash for you. If you accept Christ as your Savior and surrender yourself to Him, some of your own people may reject you as well.

Sublime is defined as something so excellent, grand or beautiful it inspires awe. The beauty of God’s plan for salvation is truly awe-inspiriting. We don’t deserve it, we can’t earn it, yet God freely gives it if we are willing to accept it. We can be released from a life of bondage to sin, be adopted into God’s family, and spend eternity with Him in heaven.

Once we accept Christ as our Savior, we can be called children of God. Some mistakenly think we are all God’s children, but this is not the case. We must be adopted into God’s family. We can only do this by accepting the free gift of salvation He offers through His son, Jesus Christ.

In His sermon, Spurgeon says, “You will never go to heaven in a crowd. The crowd goes down the broad road to destruction, but the way which leads to life eternal is a narrow way.” He was paraphrasing what Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14.

Jesus was rejected by those in His hometown and even some of his family members. They didn’t believe He was the Messiah.

Salvation is simple, it requires action, but it is not a difficult thing to do. Living the Christian life, however, is hard. It’s hard because when we surrender our lives to Christ we will face rejection, perhaps from family and friends. I have those I love and care for deeply, but I would not risk hell for anyone.

We must witness to them, but we are told if they reject us, we must move on. Jesus told His disciples this in Matthew 10:14 when He said, “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that house or town.”

Salvation is simple. It’s grand and beautiful and awe-inspiring, but it won’t make us popular. It may cost us dearly. When we are saved, it should be our desire to have as many as we can to join us. We must know, however, that there will be times when we must walk on and hope we have at least planted the seed.

Don’t be afraid to stick out like a sore thumb.

Have a great day!