Against The Grain
“...Follow Me...”- Mark 2:14
“Against the grain” is a phrase that means to go against one’s natural inclination or tendency. A person who does things in an unconventional manner, the opposite of what is usually done, especially if their methods are not generally approved of, is said to “go against the grain.” We often associate this phrase with planing against the grain of wood, and running the risk of shredding it. However, sometimes we need to go against the grain.
In this chapter of Mark, we see that the Pharisees have taken notice, and they don't like what they see. Jesus proclaiming forgiveness, eating with sinners, not directing His disciples to fast, and allowing them to pick grain on the Sabbath.
In what ways did Jesus do ministry differently from the Pharisees? He went to the people, and befriended them – even sinners!
What people and places might God be calling us to? Remember He calls us to the uncomfortable. Christ broke free from cultural norms. He called disciples, avoided publicity, taught without degree or permission, healed, delivered, touched a leper, forgave sin, ate with sinners, feasted instead of fasted, and picked grain on the Sabbath.
As Christ's followers, how are we to be counter-cultural?
Standing up for what is right and good and just requires us to go against the grain. Think about it... If Rosa Parks hadn’t gone against the grain, Black Americans might still be relegated to the back of the bus. If Susan B. Anthony hadn’t gone against the grain, women might still not have the right to vote. If Rachel Carson hadn’t gone against the grain, the environmental movement might not have begun. If Martin Luther hadn’t gone against the grain, the Reformation might not have happened. If William Tyndale hadn’t gone against the grain, we all might still be reading the Bible in Latin. If Galileo hadn’t gone against the grain, we still might believe that the world is flat. If Jesus hadn’t gone against the grain, we wouldn’t be here today. To go against the grain invites us to consider new example for interpreting our past, understanding our present, and possibly saving our future.
“If you go against the grain, you get splinters, regardless of which neighborhood you’re from, what your parents taught you, what schools you attended. But if you embrace the way God does things, there are wonderful payoffs, again without regard to where you are from or how you were brought up. God pays no attention to what others say (or what you think) about you. He makes up his own mind.” -Romans 2:9-11
You may not understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ sometimes. Or why it always seem to go against the grain of this world.? You may have even thought.. “I have to lose my life to save it.” “ There is joy in suffering.” “Humble yourself to be lifted up and if your enemy is hungry, feed him.” “That is not how the world works anymore.” How can I ever follow Jesus Christ if it means going against the grain of how this world operates? Can I do it?
Yes, you can. -Philippians 4:13
Surrender yourself to minister in Christ's love, however radical or risky it may become.