He calls you child.

The value a simple phrase brings.

This past Wednesday night my students and I were in a series by Grow Curriculum called Untouchables. The whole series takes this look at what it the outcast of Jesus area and challenges us to reach out to the “outcast” around us. And this particular week we looked at a passage of scripture from Mark chapter 5 about a woman who bled for 12 years. Take a look at the scripture below.

25 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, 26 and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. 27 She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. 28 For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” 29 And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30 And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” 31 And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’” 32 And he looked around to see who had done it. 33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” (ESV)

This passage is one of those that I often forget about, and when looking at the larger scale of context that is happening in this passage I found such deep meaning and beauty in the passing words of Jesus. You see according to Jewish law this woman for 12 years wouldn’t have been allowed to be touched by anyone. You see according to Jewish law/tradition a woman who was on her period would have not been able to be touched by anyone. Because she was considered unclean. Now, this seems incredibly silly to us in the 21st century, because this is something our culture would laugh at and wouldn’t follow. However, let me put this in perspective for you. Ask yourself this question;

What if the person I love most, couldn’t give me a hug?

Could you imagine how awful that would be. For me the people I love most would be my family, and if I couldn’t get a hug from them when I’m happy, or sad I would be defeated. This analogy broke my heart. Once I understood that, the empathy for this woman was real. If I was her I would feel miserable and alone. So, no wonder she sought out Jesus, just to even touch his garment to be healed an no wonder she fell to her face when Jesus asked who it was that touched him, because she was worried about what would be said to her, an “unclean woman” touching a “clean man’s” garment. But, Jesus just looks at this woman, with what I can only assume is love and compassion and calls her “Daughter”. With this simple phrase Jesus does something amazing to her. He lets her know that she is Known, Valued, and Loved.

She is Known because he calls her daughter, he recognizes her as a person. She is Valued because she is given the title of daughter, and she is Loved because she is his daughter. This passage hits me in the heart because it is the same truth for me and for you.

Jesus, the savior of the world looks at each of us in our mess and calls us son or daughter. To each of us, we are child. And because he calls us child it brings this amazing value to each one of our lives. Friend as you read this today, I want you to know this. When it comes to the savior of the world, you are Known, Valued and Loved and he calls you his child.

It does not matter what the rest of the world says about you, it doesn’t matter what those who look down on you say, the only thing that matters is that when we feel at our lowest, when we feel like no one is for us, and we feel as if we are the outcast and no one wants to be around us, Jesus tells us differently and invites us to be a part of a community that is intrinsically vibrant and different, where the outcast in all of us is always welcome.

Here is my challenge to you this week, what would it look like if every person you encountered, the cashier, the other people in line at Starbucks, the random people you have interactions with throughout your week you treated them as if they were Known, Valued and Loved? My guess is that our interactions would look a whole lot different if we acted as such. So, let’s pursue living out the identity that God has given us this next week and speak that identity into people around us.