David is easily one of the most critical characters in the entire Old Testament, and his legend carries on into the New Testament as prophecy dictates that the Messiah is to be a direct descendent of David. Of course, the books of Matthew and Luke show us how Jesus fits into his lineage.
Upon further inspection, David and Jesus were more similar than I had ever realized. I recently read a story about David that shows how much his journey as a leader had in common with Jesus’ ministry. This story occurs during the time that David was in hiding from Saul.
“So David got away and escaped to the Cave of Adullam. When his brothers and others associated with his family heard where he was, they came down and joined him. Not only that, but all who were down on their luck came around—losers and vagrants and misfits of all sorts. David became their leader. There were about four hundred in all.” (1 Samuel 22:1-2 The Message)
Before he was the King of Israel, David was the King of the misfits. Anybody that was having a hard time or feeling lost could go and join the group of David’s followers. They were welcomed with open arms. And with God on their side, this group of random outcasts later went on to accomplish some pretty cool things.
That sure sounds like another group I have read about in the Bible. Jesus recruited some fisherman, a tax collector, a few sets of brothers, and set out on a mission to spread the good news to the world. Jesus’ group spent lots of time with the misfits of society, readily taking in the poor and the broken. They opened their doors to prostitutes, drunkards, and those rejected by Jewish officials.
Jesus’ crew saw their fair share of success as well. As we read in the book of Acts, even after Jesus had ascended and He sent the Holy Spirit to His followers, their group continued to grow in numbers in exponential fashion. They added to their numbers daily as they were able to stay on the same page and focus on their mission.
If you think about it, you and I are part of that group. Modern Christians are actually just part of that original assembly of misfits that started with a simple phrase: “Come, follow me.” (Mark 1:17a NIV) I think it is time that we embrace our role as outcasts and try to return to the place of urgency and passion that was evident in the early Church. This is a pretty cool group to be a part of, so we should start acting like we belong.