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Thursday: Go To Jesus Outside the Camp — 12 Comments

  1. There are so many ideas associated with the imagery of "outside the camp" that it could probably be explored a bit more, especially as we gather together to study its meaning in the relative isolation of our church buildings. Here are a couple of illustrations that spring to mind.

    One of the enduring images of my early life as a teacher was when I arrived at School a bit early one morning to get in first to use the Gestetner (Does any one remember Gestetner duplicators - I mention this to indicate how old this story is!) The School Principal was already there, dressed in an old pair of overalls, down on the floor, painting the skirting boards. I was used to seeing him dressed in a suit sitting behind his desk doing administrative things, but he was "outside the camp" doing a menial task with no fuss, no expectation of accolades, just because it needed doing.

    I remember sitting in church one Sabbath, a bit more recently than the last story. A young man had been tasked with giving an account of the "Crankt" project this project was run involving some of the "layabout" boys in the local state high school. They took old mountain bikes, did them up and then took the boys out into the hills to do some BMX riding. It was a very successful project. The young man giving an account of this project in church made the point that religion was not about sitting in church and getting excited about the music or the eloquence of the speaker, but about getting among people where the need was. He was a bit pointed about how clean we looked, compared to him in his torn jeans and grease stained hands.

    Jesus came to earth, "outside the camp", to save us.

    But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Rom 5:8 KJV

    Christianity is not about churches and liturgy. In fact it was not until about 300AD that church buildings were developed. It was about working with people "outside the camp". Why do you think Christianity grew so quickly? Sometimes I pose the hypothetical to myself about what our church would look like if we got rid of all of our church buildings. We would probably be forced to work "outside the camp" and that, for some of us would be a totally new experience.

    • The buildings are where the fellowship of believers come together to hear the Word of God and be refreshed and encouraged by those who are likeminded in the worship of Almighty God. Outside the camp we should be the example of the lived Word of God so we can draw men to faith in Jesus Christ. May God help us not to be stumbling blocks.

      • Having a church building is actually a luxury. There are many in third world countries who come together under a tree "to hear the word of God and be refreshed and encouraged..." (to use your words Sophia). Indeed, as Maurice Ashton has hypothesized, what would church look like if we had no buildings? "We", after all, are the church.

        • A while back I was working in a church where a wealthy elder thought he owned the church and everything should go his way. When he would point out that he personally paid for most of the church building, I told him I would be happy for us all to just get our Bibles and meet under a tree. That’s my answer to rich control freaks.

  2. Although there are many Christians in this world, yet in our society if you are a committed Christian believer, you are considered the odd one out (an outsider).
    I see a shift in the meaning of the biblical camp in favor of those outside taking sides with Jesus. We know from Math. 7 and Luke 13 that the these will be the minority.

    Rev.18:4 Come out of her my people, lest you share in her sins.
    Jeremiah 51:45 Come out of her my people, save your lives each of you.
    God wants His people to escape from this evil system and the punishments it brings upon its people. And there will come a definite time when the loyal Christ follower will be literally called out- I also believe this time is already sneaking on us. The question is, on whose side will I want to be?

  3. "Go to Jesus outside the camp"
    Which is most important - "go to Jesus" or "go outside the camp"?
    In our day where is the Truth inside or outside the camp?
    Many people flock to a popular preacher who has what seems to be a new way of understanding the Bible, which may be outside the camp.
    Were Martin Luther and the others of the Protestant Reformation inside or outside the camp?
    Jesus warned us that in the last days there would be false prophets inside and outside the camp.
    So the answer to the question is - Go to Jesus as He is revealed in the Word of the LORD which tells us Jesus suffered and died outside the city gates to make his people holy by means of his own blood.

  4. To follow Jesus may be controversial to what the world follows. Our society has been corrupted by the desire for money and possessions. Jesus teaches the opposite! That's why to follow Jesus means to be out of the regular, in the eyes of a material based world. Jesus kingdom is not from this world, His kingdom is based on true love and peace, and these are priceless! He gave His life for us, so we could return to the state we were created for. Let us follow Him wherever He leads us, it does not matter where, being with Him is simply enough!

    • My sentiments, as well, JC.

      Let us, by faith, yield to the Word made flesh, of whom it is said, "God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God."
      By stepping out of the sphere of divinity, into His mission of man's salvation, the resurrected Christ, still one with God, is the ultimate prescription for where we need to be!

      Let us, by faith, yield ourselves - especially spiritually, mentally and emotionally - to the one,
      "In whose presence our soul takes delight, ...
      My comfort by day and my song in the night,
      My hope, my salvation, my all.
      He looks, and ten thousands of angels rejoice,
      And myriads wait for His word ..."

      Jesus marks the spot, where we need to be, in our personal experience.

  5. Outside the Camp (of the World) is a meeting place of God (tent of meeting) as illustrated in Exodus and Jesus.

    Outside the status-quo of the World !

    We can always be United to God wherever we are.

    It's more of a state of mind rather that location !
    1 JOHN 2:15

  6. Jesus, was shunned. He was put to death outside of the city.... Why was he shunned? Because he was not popular. He was not with the 'in-crowd'. He did not follow what the others did. He spoke truth and life and he was blamed by men, but became through his death 'blameless' and worthy of our love.
    Are we willing to follow Jesus outside the camp whatever the cost?

    • I am not sure that Jesus was unpopular. Remember that about a week before the crucifixion, Jesus was involved in a triumphal entry into Jerusalem. His popularity was with the ordinary people and that caused the national leaders a bit of a headache. The problem with popularity is that it is often fickle.

  7. When you say not popular, you mean not popular among the leaders of Jews-the elite (or what was said earlier about the “rich member”) of the church. The people loved him because his message was of love and changing that system. We have been trying to follow his message but that same scenario exists today. Nothing will change until his return and he makes all things new. I’m glad to have a church building to return to once a week but even there we have a structured system. However it strengthens me to get through the week when I am “outside the camp”.


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