The Outlaw (1/14)
Mark Barbee

Of all the names and titles of Jesus, who would ever think to call him an outlaw?  But that’s how some of his contemporaries may have viewed him.  After all, they called him a false prophet, a charlatan, a demon, you name it. 

            At one point in Matthew’s gospel, Jesus asked his disciples “Who do men say that I the Son of Man am?”  He got a variety of answers from them: some say John the Baptist (back from the dead), Elijah, or Jeremiah or one of the prophets.  You can imagine the Pharisees accusing him of various things.  You can imagine the Romans keeping a wary eye on this potential troublemaker, outlaw, or rebel.  It is so authentic that the gospels included all the false ideas about Jesus.  There is no attempt to sell him.  But the reality of his deity keeps coming through. 

Jesus pressed his men further as to who they said he is: “Who do you say I am?”  Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ (Messiah) the Son of the Living God.”  This, Jesus said, was revealed to him by the Father in heaven.  This statement of faith has often been called the Good Confession.  Millions of believers have made that confession over the centuries.

Many people today are confused about Jesus.  Was he a revolutionary?  A mere moral teacher?  Those who think that have not read his teachings!  He was either who he said he was, or a liar or lunatic!  There is no other logical alternative.  We cannot just dismiss him as a good teacher.  He claimed to be the Son of God.

Not only that, but he backed up everything he said with miracles: miracles over sickness, over nature, and over the evil realm.  Ultimately he raised people from the dead.  And so the song I’m about to sing concludes that he was who he said he was.  It was written by a man in the 70’s named Larry Norman.  Larry is considered by many to be one of the godfather’s of contemporary Christian music.  He called this song “The Outlaw”.  If you’re following our prayer blog you can read these words.  If you’d like to hear the song, you can check out Fairfield Christian Church Facebook on Monday for my devotion.


The Outlaw

Some say he was an outlaw, that he roamed across the land                                                         With a band of unschooled ruffians, and a few old fishermen                                       No one knew just where he came from or exactly what he’d done                                   But they said it must be something bad that kept him on the run.

Some say he was a poet, that he’d stand upon a hill                                                             His voice could calm an angry crowd or make the waves stand still                                   That he spoke in many parables that few could understand                                               But the people sat for hours just to listen to this man

Some say he was a sorcerer, a man of mystery                                                                                  He could walk upon the water, or make a blind man see                                                        That he conjured wine at weddings and did tricks with fish and bread                            And he talked of being born again and raised people from the dead.

Some say a politician, who spoke of being free                                                                                   He was followed by the masses on the shores of Galilee                                                          He spoke out against corruption, and he bowed to no decree                                           And they feared his strength and power so they nailed him to a tree

Some say he was the Son of God, a man above all men                                                                    But he came to be a servant and to set us free from sin                                                 And that’s who I believe he was, cause that’s who I believe                                               And I think we should get ready, cause it’s time for us to leave!                                        Larry Norman

Lord, thank you for Jesus the Son of God.  Thank you for his teaching and his power.  Thank you that he was willing to be misunderstood and mislabeled.  Thank you that he never wavered from his mission to die on the cross and to set us free from sin. 

Lord, remind us in these troubled days that Jesus is still the answer.  He is not a mystery to those who will read his words and the gospels.  May you turn may hearts to Jesus in these troubled times.  May the things that are meant for evil be turned to good and let us all see your mighty hand at work.  In Jesus’s Name.