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1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. 2 And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” 3 So he told them this parable:

When I read through the gospels, it seems like Jesus always has something up his sleeve. In this scene, he’s hanging out with a bunch of felons – lawbreakers, robbers, delinquents – and he’s approached by a group of pious aristocrats. Of all things to say in this moment, Jesus begins a story. And he doesn’t stop at just one. He tells three stories with one main message that disrupts the status quo.

Somehow Jesus’ stories have a way of jerking his audience out of their everyday normal and forcing them to look at life from a different angle. Has that ever happened to you? When life, for the most part, felt like it was going along just fine, and then, wham! Jesus throws you into a tizzy. What felt normal, now feels confusing. What once was easy to understand, now is questionable. There are seasons when life flips upside-down and even though we’re living in the same world, we feel completely disoriented. The Jesus you thought you knew is suddenly using his story to throw a wrench in your story.

Walking with Jesus is not always easy, especially in periods of disorientation. But, during these times, we get a better grasp on what it means to walk by faith, what it means to truly trust God, what it means to be a child of God even in the confusion, the doubts, and the struggle. Fortunately, Jesus does have something up his sleeve and that something is transformation. He often uses disorientation to begin the work of re-orientation in our lives. This process sometimes comes with pain or a journey of un-learning, but it’s for our good and for God’s glory. Today, praise God for a time in your life when he sent you into a season of disorientation because he has even more good in store for you and for his Kingdom.

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By Yvonne Biel

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