Finding customers like you and me

There’s an old sales axiom that goes something like:  “Facts tell and stories sell.”  I doubt the saying was around back in Jesus’s time but he certainly operated like he knew it.  I think he knew his audience, his target market, was maybe going to be a tough sell but what an enormous, untapped market it was.  Here’s one of the stories, the parables, Jesus told:  “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?   And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’   I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.  (Luke 15: 4-7)

Jesus “sold” to the people that the rest of the sales guys, the Pharisees and teachers of the law, had long ago written off as potential customers.  He went into the places they wouldn’t go and made his pitch to those who had never been buyers before.  The other salesmen thought he was nuts and definitely below their paygrade.  As they watched him they had to mutter, “It’ll never work.  What’s he doing with them?”  The thing is, Jesus was selling something they weren’t; belief and not just in anything but in the customers’ worthiness as consumers.

Jesus told the castoffs, the unclean, the unworthy that they were valued and not just valued but prized.  These ones who had been told countless times they were no good, unwanted and total screw-ups were being told by this sales guy something radically different.  Jesus told them and told them with authority that they were desired.  Oh, the “good” ones were fine and all but Jesus’s company was willing to walk away from that existing customer base just to win their business.  Jesus’s company was an innovator, a trailblazer.  This just never happens in the marketplace, except when it does and it’s the biggest most life changing, world changing revelation to ever happen.

Consider the automobile and you’ll see a Pharisee sitting on a horse saying “Folly!  Never work!’  Consider the airplane and hear the Pharisee saying “If man were meant to fly….”  The internet:  “Just a fad, it’ll pass.” (Overheard at the morning coffee group)  The list goes on and on and on.  They said it then and they say it today:  “Not a chance.  Gonna fail.  Doesn’t have a prayer.”

Thank God it does.  Thank God it did back then.  And thank God he sent his Son into the under-served, unworthy market that was and still is all of us.  I’m sold on this thing and I hope you are or are headed toward buying too.

It’s sort of tough to imagine being part of a group that before Jesus came around might have been given up on by the church but that’s the way it was.  It sure makes His life and what he did for all of us an even bigger thing.

I write about life and I think it would be disingenuous of me to not include some things about God because that’s part of my life.  I have more of this type of post at my home page and other writing about non-religious things too.  If you would like to check out either, just click here to go my blog.  If don’t get a weekly update on what I’ve written you can do that for free by subscribing.  It’s simple and means you’ll receive an email with links to the week’s posts; nothing more and nothing less as I never sell or share emails.  Subscribe by clicking this or do so at the blog.