“And everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was bitter in soul, gathered to [David]. And he became captain over them” (1 Sam. 22:2).
“Come to me, all who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest….” (Matt. 11:28).
The kingdom of Jesus has its origins in rejection, in being ostracized and marginalized. Jesus was buried in a cave “outside the camp”—without religious acceptance or social standing—just as David was driven to the cave at Adullam, dogged by rumors of treason and disgrace. Adullam means, “rest” or “refuge.” We come to Jesus burdened by stress, debt, or disillusionment; we are disenfranchised; we lack status or privilege; we are not the world’s best or brightest; we may be looked down on or treated dismissively (1 Cor. 1:26-28). But we come, and we find a place with Jesus. He doesn’t throw us out of consider us second class. He accepts us, gives us refuge from whatever past we have left, and forms us into a society. We no longer need to be burdened by our bad rep, our most embarrassing moment, our poor business sense, or the crushing failures that have made us give up on the world. Jesus loves us. His love gives us rest from all these things.
Jesus is one of us. He is the original reject (1 Peter 2:4, 5). He is not ashamed to call us brothers (Heb. 2:11). He becomes captain over us. He claims us as His own. A captain and his soldiers are a unit. They have a common life and identity. We have a common life and identity with Jesus, from which He doesn’t shrink but embraces without reservation or secret misgivings.
“…and whoever comes to me I will never drive away” (John 6:37).