Jesus Is For Losers

Blessed are you who are poor
For yours is the kingdom of God
Blessed are you who are hungry now
For you shall be satisfied
Blessed are you who weep now
For you shall laugh

Woe to you who are rich
For you have received your consolation
Woe to you who are full now
For you shall be hungry
Woe to you who laugh now
For you shall weep and mourn

-Jesus (Luke 6)

I was getting my oil changed Saturday and picked up a recent issue of one of the news magazines, it may have been Time. It had an interview with Ted Turner. Toward the end of the interview Turner was asked about his famous quip from a few years ago when he said, “Christianity is a religion for losers.” In the interview Ted Turner said he was sincerely sorry for that remark. I believe him. But even though Ted Turner originally meant his “losers” remark as an insult, I would have to say I agree with it. Christianity is for losers. If anything is clear in the gospels it’s that Jesus is for losers. It’s the winners, the big dogs, the ruling elite, those who are large and in charge who have a hard time with Jesus. It’s hard for the fat cats to get through the eye of the needle.

The gospel is this: Jesus is for losers.
The truth is this: Everybody is a loser…it’s just that some know it and others are better at faking it.

You court the favor of the rich and powerful, the kings and king-makers of the fallen world order by convincing them you’re not a loser, that you’re one of the winners. But you court the favor of the King of Kings in just the opposite manner, by convincing him you are one of the losers. Jesus loves losers. He’s partial to them. They’re his favorites. Take that, winners!

Remember the playground politics of picking teams? Captains pick players for their teams beginning with the most athletic and then choosing the less gifted. The biggest loser doesn’t get picked at all.

Captain Jesus picks his team differently. He starts with the losers. He picks a team of losers…and wins the championship with them. As it turns out, Christianity is a team of losers…with one really, really good Superstar on the team!

If you want to win in the end, you have to be on Jesus’ team. The best way to get picked to be on Jesus’ team is to convince him you are really no good at being spiritual, to convince him you are really lousy at getting life right. Jesus is attracted to honest losers like that.

Blessed are those who are poor at being spiritual
For the kingdom of heaven is for them
-Jesus (paraphrase of Matthew 5:3)

Loser: Jesus, I really suck at life.
Jesus: Great! Be on my team and we’ll win the championship!

Think about it. Who did Jesus reach out to? Who did Jesus go out of his way to meet? Nobodies. Losers. Messed up sinners. The marginalized. The forgotten on the fringe of society.

And what about when Jesus was before the rich, the influential, the powerful? Caiaphas, Herod, Pilate? At best Jesus was disinterested and aloof and at worst he was downright dismissive.

The best way to garner the attention and compassion of Jesus is to present yourself before him as an unabashed loser.

Be merciful unto me, a sinner.

No doubt about it, Jesus is for losers. Christianity doesn’t need more celebrities; Christianity doesn’t need to pander for the help and endorsement of the politically powerful and the independently wealthy. Christianity needs more losers. Jesus will upset Babylon with his team of underdogs. It’s the way he’s always done it.
I’ll leave you with a poem that says what I’m trying to communicate in a far better way.

by Luci Shaw

He was a born loser,
accident-prone too;
never won the lottery,
married a girl who
couldn’t cook, broke
his leg the day before
the wedding
and forgot the ring.
He was the kind
who ended up behind a post
in almost any
auditorium. Planes
he was booked to fly on
were delayed
by engine trouble
with sickening regularity.
His holidays at the beach
were almost always
ruined by rain. All
his apples turned out
wormy. His letters
came back marked
‘Moved, left no
address.’ And it was
his car that was cited
for speeding
from among a flock of others
going 60 in a
55 mile zone.

So it was a real shocker
when he found himself
elected, chosen by Grace
for Salvation, felt
the exhilaration of
an undeserved and wholly
unexpected Joy
and tasted, for the
first time, the Glory
of being on
the winning side.

I love that!



1. The painting is Jesus Healing the Blind Man by Solomon Raj.

2. This post has nothing to do with my beloved Kansas City Chiefs.

3. Happy Thanksgiving!