It is beautiful outside and I hope that you are enjoying it and the longer days. Joy cometh in the morning. Have a blessed week and enjoy this midweek instruction.
Blessings on you, your work, your family and your faith.
Filling up the edges
Be aware that when you go to Jesus for help, you will give to and get from him far more than you bargained for.
The woman with a hemorrhage wanted to be healed and believed Jesus could do it. She just wanted to get close enough to touch Him; get healed and move on. She thought Jesus was pretty powerful if she believed he could heal her with a touch.What she did not want was to speak to Him. That was neither culturally acceptable (John 4:27) nor ceremonially safe (Lev. 11:39-40). She did not want to have to discuss such a personal matter publicly with a man. What she wanted was easy for Jesus to accomplish, she didn’t want much.
Once she is healed, Jesus stops the crowd and wants answers. Jesus healed her, but then asked her to do the very thing that terrified her. The one thing she did not want to do.
She had to publicly confess her need for healing and confess her belief in Jesus before the great teacher, his entourage and a large crowd.
He healed her and then called her to a public execution of self (Mark 8:34-36). She had to give far more than she ever thought possible and what she most dreaded.
But Jesus’ response was far more than she had ever hoped. For twelve years this woman has been estranged from the synagogue, the feast days; the community life of God’s people. She can’t get married or have children. She is an outcast.
Jesus calls the woman “daughter.” Except for the paralytic in 2:5 Jesus has not addressed anyone, not even the twelve, as members of his own family.
His family consists of all those who do the will of God. Here was a new definition of the family in which the bond that unites people who do the will of God is set above the kinship of blood.
In this woman who had suffered so much and who had violated the law of Moses, Jesus found a daughter. She had done the will of God by reaching out in faith to Jesus honoring Him.
Despite her fear she had hoped and believed in Jesus’ power to save her. This distinguished her from the disciples in the boat, whose fear had led them into sarcasm.
Her faith was a response to his power, and the singular quality of her faith was acting in hope in spite of the things she feared.
What she receives from Jesus is so much more than what she had hoped for or believed was possible.
And then the messenger came to tell Jairus the thing he feared. His daughter was dead. All he wanted from Jesus was for Him to heal his daughter’s fever.
And Jesus is distracted. Jesus is attending to the needs of others. What Jairus wanted was such a small thing, but it was a greater danger and more imminent.
And now, though he had come to Jesus, exactly what he most feared and dreaded has come.
Jesus couldn’t save Jairus or his daughter from the storm.
We know that Jesus doesn’t have to be present to heal people (Mathew 8:5-13). So, what is Jesus doing to this poor man? Jesus doesn’t explain anything about His plan. Jesus commands them to continue on to see the dead girl and tells Jairus not to fear, but to have faith. Jesus is doing far more for Jairus than Jairus can imagine.
Think of the stunned, trembling, sorrowful faith in which Jairus went the short distance with Jesus.
And Jesus goes in and takes the little girl’s hand, tells her to arise and….
…she gets up.
All Jairus wanted was Jesus to heal his daughter from a fever but instead Jesus raises her from death.
Jairus gets far more than he ever thought was possible. But at Jesus’ side, he descended to fears and doubts and sorrow he had never known.
This is the way of the cross. The way of the disciple of Jesus.
Is there something you think God is delaying? Withholding? Something small and easy to address? Are you impatient with God?
God doesn’t call you to a path of ease, safety or even happiness. He doesn’t call you to your own agenda or timetable and He doesn’t promise complete understanding.
He calls you to come and die. To come and rejoice.
He will give you far more than you can imagine, but it will cost you far more than you can imagine.
Around the worldwide web
Zach Williams was newly married when his wife fell off a horse and was paralyzed. In his grief he wrote poetry. His friends encouraged him to learn guitar and deal with his grief by sharing his songs at open mics. They helped him.
His wife fully recovered. But from that tragedy, fear and self-expression of sorrow emerged a band called The Lone Bellow. Enjoy their folksy-gospel inspired sorta-take on Psalm 30:5.
Because of your steadfast and abundant love
I turn to you with cries for mercy,
with shouts of joy,
in expectation of a ready ear.
Set my face toward Christ; the way, the truth and the life.
You hate the bloodthirsty, deceitful man who wildly pursues evil impulses,
walking in darkness,
who are inward evil in every way.
You will not let such a man reside with or even stand in your presence.
But to those who have found favor in your eyes,
You encircle them with your love,
You fill their mouths with expression of gratitude,
You enfold them with your grace as with a shield.
And so, I set this – my sacrifice of self – before you
In Christ, as Christ, for Christ,
Jered Leslie, Call
Steve Brown, Prayer
MONTHLY PRAYER MEETING
First Sunday of every month; 9:30-9:50AM; church office. Join us for communal prayer, men & women.