The Advantages of Being Common People
“. . . And the common people heard Him gladly.”
No one aspires to be a common person. We each possess worth and qualities that we hope will set us apart from the rest of the world. While it is natural to want recognition, many tirelessly promote themselves for the chance of a second glance. Trendy clothing, body art, jewelry, bright hair colors, and more scream, “Look at me!” They are attempts to help the users transcend the curse of the common. But being a common person affords some benefits.
Common People Heard Jesus Gladly
Recently while reading through the book of Mark an interesting phrase caught my attention. As Jesus engaged a mixed crowd of listeners it was the common people who heard Jesus gladly. Self-important religious leaders who prided themselves on their connection with God closed their ears and unabashedly tried to trick Jesus and discredit Him. They squelched the acquisition of truth and instead favored the destruction of any obstacle to their own renown – even the Son of God Himself.
Jesus pointed out the difference in the two groups of people. He warned His listeners to “beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts.” They devour widows’ houses and try to hide their evil doings with long prayers. These, He predicted, would receive greater condemnation.
A Common Widow Gave Her Best
On the other hand Jesus acknowledged a poor widow who quietly worshipped God with all she possessed. This common woman, bereft of the world’s riches, dropped two small coins into the temple treasury. Her sacrifice, unobserved by the others in the crowd, did not escape the notice of the Son of God. Her offering held no pretense but originated from faith and love. And the Father readily accepted the gift.
Advantages of Common People
In my estimation common people carry an advantage over individuals of great importance. Throughout the Bible God visits the ordinary and draws them to Himself. The blind beggar recognizes his need for healing. The leper approaches Jesus in desperation. The barren woman cries out to God for children. A desperate father humbles himself for the sake of his young daughter. These find the recognition and relationship they are seeking because they hear the word of God and accept it gladly. Conversely the egocentric and self-sufficient group completely misses the mark.
So if you imagine yourself weighted down by the curse of the common, don’t despair! You don’t need trendy clothes, body art, or bright hair colors to get the attention you crave. Instead join the ranks of the ordinary but blessed people who listen and hear God’s word gladly. They capture God’s attention as well as His heart.
Click here to read more of Jesus’ teachings.
Click to read about God’s Terms of Endearment.