Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” (John 5:8 ESV)
Jesus would live in Detroit…here’s why.
In the gospel of John we get a story in chapters 3-5 where Jesus hangs out with a pharisee who is searching for answers (Nicodemus). Jesus has a drink and private talk with an adulterous woman who was hated because of her race (woman at the well). Jesus heals a murderers son who was a Roman soldier hated by the Jews. Then Jesus enters Jerusalem from the south entrance (Sheep Gate, poor mans entrance) rather than enter the way that the Pharisees came in (North Entrance, temple entrance) and heads to the pool of bethesda where….“these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed” (John 5:3 ESV).
Jesus has now sat with whores, healed a murderers’ son, hung out with sick and homeless, and helped a man searching for answers. Sounds like my city.
In conversation this week with a friend he made a statement, “there’s no hope for Detroit, its too far gone.” That was my cue to interject into the conversation that “when there is no hope anywhere else, that’s when we need Jesus.”
Jesus loves the ugly.
Jesus loves the junkies and the freaks. Jesus loves the hustlers on 8 mile and the creeps in Brightmoor. Jesus loves the gangs that stole my sisters car, and that stole the rims of the rental. Jesus loves the wonderful lady who came to one of our addiction classes who is dying of AIDS. Jesus loves Archie (the homeless man who lives behind the Marathon gas station in a cardboard box). Jesus loves the little boys and girls who have been abused and neglected. If Jesus lived anywhere…he’d live in Detroit.
Jesus loves the mis-understood.
Jesus loves the guys and gals with tattoos (my sleeve is coming next summer). Jesus loves the rappers, the loud cars, the hats low and banging music. Jesus loves those who are starving as I write this. Jesus loves those who have never been west of Telegraph and have never ate a full course meal. Jesus loves the hookers, the pimps, the druggies, the addicts, the johns, the poor, the homeless, the fatherless and lonely. If Jesus lived anywhere…he’d live in Detroit.
Jesus loves the ignored.
Jesus loves the subway rider who has never owned a car. Jesus loves the woman who has been kicked around and the man who is a drunk. Jesus loves the guy who doesn’t know a single verse of Amazing Grace but is deep down wishing he knew grace that was amazing. Jesus loves the mom who pushes her shopping cart 3 miles to get groceries to only get smirked at by a driver passing by. Jesus loves the ones turned away, the hurting ones, the trapped ones, the burdened ones, the laughed at ones, the mocked ones, the ones that you have never met because you are too busy with your life. If Jesus lived anywhere…he’d live in Detroit.
Jesus loves the attacked.
Jesus loves the injured, the maimed, the sore, the raped, the punched & kicked. Jesus loves those who society/church would rather just have just disappear than befriend. Jesus loves the ones who have been turned on, who have been left, who stroll the wrong side of the street, who go to the liquor store everyday to get food and booze. Jesus loves the guy sleeping in the grass next to his bike and cart full of everything he owns (a jacket and some socks). Jesus rubs shoulders with the dirty. If Jesus lived anywhere…he’d live in Detroit.
I know what your thinking, “I know Jesus loves them but…” stop before you say another word. The problem with the church today is that we don’t know Jesus. We know alot about Jesus, we know alot about what he said and even what he did. But we don’t know Jesus. The reason why I say that is because Jesus is with the ones I just mentioned and most in the church have never gone south of 8 Mile and never will.
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:35-40 ESV)
Trevor Morgan wrote in his song “Jesus rides the Subway”:
Jesus went to church on Sunday, Sat in the back and sang the hymns. Jesus went to church on Sunday, But they didn’t recognize him.
If Jesus lived anywhere..he’d live in Detroit. Jesus lives in Detroit.