Jesus is for losers

for losers?!?

i know, right?  that was my first reaction yesterday when i saw that phrase on twitter.

but then i thought about it. and of course, it’s absolutely true.

luke’s gospel makes this point from the very beginning when God selects some obscure nobodies to be the lead players in the first act of the story of Jesus.

zechariah – an old country pastor. name had never been selected as incense-offerer when his group of priests had temple duty. he’s a nobody. might seem mean, but it’s what we’re supposed to think.

elizabeth – pastor’s wife. she’s old too. and unable to have kids. again, seems insensitive in our PC culture, but in those days, an infertile woman was worthless. she’s a nobody.

mary – a middle-schooler. engaged to be married to a carpenter in a remote backwater village that was so small, modern archaeologists question whether it ever really existed.

shepherds – the very first to receive the good news of the birth of the Savior. nobodies. not a stinkier, less-desirable, low-life job in the want-ads. you shepherded because there was nothing else you could do.

you tell me. winners or losers?

no contest. even in their ancient rural culture they were losers. they’re not even on the radar in ours. and yet…

this Christmas, celebrate that Jesus is for losers!

because you’re one too.

if a loser is one who doesn’t stack up, doesn’t have what it takes, can’t pull it off, a complete and constant failure… well, welcome to losersville.

i ruffled a few feathers a few months back when during a sunday talk i said, “you suck, but God loves you anyway.” but it’s true! it’s the story of the opening chapters of luke. it’s the story of the gospel! it’s what makes good news good, and makes christmas worth celebrating.


“no one is righteous – not even one” (romans 3.10). this phrase kicks off a laundry list of loser traits that everyone on earth has (see romans 3.10-18).

later, the same writer – paul – boldly tells us: “when we were utterly helpless – meaning, losers who suck – Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners” (romans 5.8)

Jesus is for losers. we aren’t to compare our selves, our awards, our achievements, and certainly our righteousness, to anyone other than Jesus. no one. and when we do that, we come to understand that we are indeed losers. right at home with rural teens, old nobodies, stinky livestock tenders. feel it? feel the worthlessness?

we’re the ones Jesus comes to at christmas. and all year long.

we’re the ones who are the object of God’s affections.

we’re the ones who find the good news good.

i bring you GOOD NEWS that will bring GREAT JOY to all people. the Savior – yes – the Messiah, the Lord – has been born today at bethlehem, the city of david! (luke 2.10-11)

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