“Stretch your hand out!” Those watching scurry to pull their jaws off the floor as the man’s shriveled hand becomes wholly functional again. Dancing in his head are the sports events he won’t have to miss out on, the earning potential at his job that will increase and the caresses from his wife that he won’t miss. He’s overjoyed, but realizes something is wrong in the room. He tries desperately to wash the smile off his face, but it doesn’t work – goodness is winning inside him.
Yet he sees the shaking heads, hears the murmurs, and feels cold stares – they were outraged – the “important” people – the ones who ran things. When they got like this, people died. This was not good, but yet it was soooo good. He still couldn’t wipe the grin from his face as he hurries out of the room, past “them” and home. Jesus had just been outrageously good to him, now he had to reconcile that with his life – it was going to be so fun!
Why would we settle for just normal good, when we can be outrageously good? What if each of us were not just capable, but committed to blessing others in outrageously good ways? This was Jesus’ M.O., His signature move, His routine recipe. The woman caught in adultery (John 8), healing the paralytic (Matt 9), Lazarus (John 11), the woman who washed his feet (Luke 7), etc. It wasn’t a full day’s work if Jesus hadn’t ticked someone off with His ridiculous levels of goodness. What if we became like Jesus in this way? What if our crazy matched His crazy … goodness? 🙂 This is not just possible, it is the destiny of the body of Christ.
The “sinner” who needs scandalous grace, the stranger who needs an excessive gift, the friend who needs embarrassing praise, the hope for God’s best that needs rekindled in us today. Every day is a chance to be outrageously good. Just like Jesus.