Read Luke 7:36-50; John 9:1-38
My favorite secular music came out of the decade between 1965 and 1975.There are country, rock and roll, as well as soul songs that I enjoy from those ten years. That means I like Loretta Lynn, the Beach Boys and Joe Tex, including ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter’, ‘Help Me Rhonda’ and ‘Skinny Legs And All’. It was that last song that had my attention this morning. ‘Skinny Legs And All’ is a cute novelty song. The lyrics tell about a woman with skinny legs and a man in raggedy clothes. In both of the little vignettes, someone is ashamed to be seen with both the skinny lady and the man whose clothing doesn't look new and tidy. Apparently in private both the woman and man are accepted; however, in public neither quite makes the grade, not being perceived of being worthy of public affirmation or recognition. Joe Tex's remedy is to tell each of them: to "Walk on Baby and Walk on Mr." "Because there is someone somewhere who will take you skinny legs and raggedy clothes and all.”
Because the lyrics of the song speak of a fictional man and woman, I smile at it. Yet, I know that there are real situations involving precious people made in the image of God who have experienced real rejection. Too many people know the piercing pain caused by loved ones who were ashamed of them. The stories are as varied as the number of people who have experienced this kind of rejection.
There are people who might be ashamed of us because of something in our appearance. Or, it might be a goal that someone has for us that we can't accomplish. Perhaps, someone is ashamed of us because of a moral failure, even after we have turned away from it. Or it might be that a deficiency in us is embarrassing to a loved one, causing them to be ashamed of us. What if, no matter how hard we try, that person continues to be ashamed of us?
Can we "Walk On", knowing that there is truly someone who will take us, even though we have been greatly wounded by shame and rejection? The Bible says that there is One Who is not ashamed to call us His sister or brother, Hebrews 2:11. He is Jesus, the One Who is not only Brother but Savior, Master and Redeemer and King. When we call on Him, bringing our brokenness to Him, He will not cast us out, John 6:37; Romans 10:13. Before we look briefly into examples of this wonderful truth, Let's remember another amazing thing. Jesus, the One mentioned in Hebrews 2:11 is not ashamed of us, even though he is aware of every flaw, sin and failure in each of our lives. There is no circumstance that we have innocently endured or any that we have purposely caused that will change His acceptance of us. Although there are people whom we may never be able to please, the Lord merely requires that we come, knowing that we need His forgiveness and rest, Psalm 51:17; Matthew 11:28-30.
With these things in mind, let's look at only two people whom Jesus is not ashamed to call His own:
1. Jesus is not ashamed of the woman with the sinful past. In Luke 7:36-50, we meet her. She is not named, and we know nothing concerning either her age or appearance. We do know that she had lived an immoral life, a fact that Jesus did not dispute. Yet, Jesus was not ashamed to have her display open pure love for Him, even though those around Him looked upon this lady with contempt. Jesus didn't whitewash her past sin, but He didn't shame her either. He saved her, affirmed the love she had for Him and sent her away to live a new life. We don't know how others in the town viewed her. Weather she was made a part of the society as a whole is unknown to us. What we do know is that the One Who knew infinitely more about her than any person was not ashamed to affirm her publicly.
2. Jesus is not ashamed of the man He healed twice in John 9:1-38. Although this unnamed man who was not described, was first healed in a miraculous way, Jesus had so much more for him than that. Can you imagine the emotions of this man who went from never seeing to full sight? He surely hadn't adjusted to all that was new before he was brought before the religious leaders and grilled about his healing. If that weren't enough, he was thrown out of the synagogue because he wouldn't malign Jesus. So, though his vision was restored, he lost precious religious and social activities, but that's when his greatest restoration took place. John 9:35-38 pictured Jesus' most precious work in this man's life. The Savior, Who was not ashamed of the man the religious leaders scorned, found him and made Himself known to him. Again, as with the woman in Luke 7, we don't know what rejection this now seeing man dealt with for the rest of his life. Yet, the One Who is Healer is not ashamed to be called his brother.
Someone might wonder why I have begun both of the former paragraphs with the words "Jesus is not ashamed to" call the woman in Luke 7 and the man in John 9 His sister and brother, rather than saying that Jesus was not ashamed to use that designation. After all, they lived 2,000 years ago. The beautiful truth is that Jesus is still not ashamed to be their brother, and that will always be so.
Yet, even with all this precious truth, there might still be great sadness for any of us because someone we love is ashamed of us. Please know that the Lord sees your tears, Psalm 56:8. He knows the difficulty and pain of your circumstances, and we can surely pray for Him to intervene and bring His healing into these situations. Yet, we can walk on, knowing that in Jesus, we have an endless reservoir of love. Because He is not ashamed of us, He has chosen to live in and through us, and we cannot be separated from His love, 1 Corinthians 6:19; Romans 8:38-39.