Have you ever felt too lost to be found, too sinful to be saved, or too broken to be fixed?
Or maybe it’s a family member or friend who seems too distant, too out of reach for even Jesus.
I was raised in a family full of broken people who especially enjoyed breaking things—like noses and bones. My five uncles were so violent the Denver mafia had a nickname for them: The Crazy Brothers. You know it’s bad when even the mafia thinks your family is dysfunctional.
But as a scared and scarred little kid in North Denver, I witnessed the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. One by one, Jesus radically transformed my violent family members into Spirit-filled Christ-followers.
Now, I don’t know your story, but I know mine. And I know that no one in my family was too broken for Jesus.
And I know this: Neither is yours. Here are three reasons why:
1. Jesus specializes in the broken.
But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:30-32, NIV).
When Jesus was asked why he hung out with the dregs and the drunks, the prostitutes and pimps, and the con artists and convicts, his answer was simple: that’s who he came to save.
Jesus specializes in reaching the bad, the broken, the bullied, and the bullies.
2. Jesus died for the broken.
God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8, NIV).
God didn’t wait for us to give up our sins before he sent his Son to die for our sins. Jesus died for full-on sinners who deserved his wrath. But instead of pouring that wrath out on us sinners, he poured it out on his Son. When Jesus died on the cross, he died in the place of the sinner. As Isaiah 53:5 puts it: “He was wounded for our transgressions” (KJV). As I put it, he was broken for the broken.
3. Jesus intercedes for the broken.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16, NIV).
After Jesus rose from the dead and ascended, he sat down at the right hand of God the Father. Now he lives to intercede for the broken, for the hurting, for us.
We can approach him with confidence, knowing that he is an empathetic God who understands the full depths of our brokenness and suffering because he suffered on a level we could never imagine when he died in our place on the cross.
My mom suffered with shame for most of her life. I was the result of a short-term sexual tryst she had with my biological father. After finding out she was pregnant, she drove from Denver to Boston to have an illegal abortion. In a last-minute twist of events, she decided to come back home and give birth to me.
Even after most of my street-fighting, bodybuilding uncles (her brothers) trusted in Jesus, she refused. She thought she was too broken for Jesus.
When she looked at me, she often wept because she almost aborted me. She wept because of all the sins she had committed throughout her life.
She never knew that I knew the whole story (my grandma had told me everything). As a young teenager, I tried to share the gospel with her time and time again, but she would say, “I’m too sinful. God would never save a bum like me. You don’t know the things I’ve done wrong.”
Finally, when I was fifteen years old, I begged her to trust in Jesus. And, while smoking a cigarette at the kitchen table, she relented.
My ma wasn’t too broken for Jesus, and neither are you or that friend or that wayward child—or anyone.
Jesus specializes in the broken. He died for the broken. He intercedes for the broken—for you and for me, the chief of sinners.
Taken from Unlikely Fighter by Greg Stier. Copyright © 2021. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.