June 11, 2020
There are No Lesser Requests for Jesus
"So Jesus went with him, and a large crowd was following and pressing against him." Mark 5:24 (CSB)
Jesus seldom behaved like people expected Him to in social situations. Instead of seeking to rub shoulders with the powerful or cozying up to the popular, He was the master of noticing those who least expected to be seen.
Although He was the Son of God and on a very big mission, Jesus was never too busy to pay attention to those around Him. He lived alert. Even when He was on His way to do something that seemed grandiose, He turned His attention to what seemed to be a lesser request.
Jesus wasn't about doing big things; He was about doing the right thing. And often for Him, the right thing was noticing one simple soul.
Mark 5 records such a scene for us. Christ had just restored a demon-possessed man. That was surely something grand! Then He crossed over to the other side of the lake with His disciples. A large crowd soon gathered. Suddenly, in front of Jesus stood Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue, with a rather desperate request. His daughter was dying, and he longed for Jesus to heal her.
Of course, Jesus agreed. There wasn't a lot of hoopla surrounding His decision. He didn't draw attention to what He was about to do - posting it on Twitter with the hashtag #MiracleOnTheWay or uploading a pic on Instagram with a really cool filter for effect.
We are simply told in today's key verse, Mark 5:24, "So Jesus went with him," even though the verse also tells us, "a large crowd was following and pressing against him." The crowd didn't prevent Jesus from helping the individual standing in front of Him.
As they journeyed to the place where Jairus's beloved daughter lay ill, masses once again pressed in all around Jesus. In the assembly was a woman who'd suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all her money. However, instead of getting well, she grew worse. She approached Jesus in the crowd and touched His cloak, thinking, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed" (Mark 5:28, NIV).
Her touch didn't escape the notice of Jesus. He again responded to the soul that stood before him, telling her that her faith had made her well.
This story has always fascinated me. The way Jesus took time - while in the middle of a throng of people - to notice an individual and meet that person's needs. And in the case of the woman, it was the need of a seemingly insignificant person. She wasn't important like the synagogue ruler Jairus. In fact, we aren't even told her name. Yet, she was important to Jesus.
Jairus worried this stop had taken up too much time and it might be too late for his daughter. But it is never too late for Jesus. He still healed Jairus's daughter. Jesus knew how to patiently minister to each distinct person's particular pain.
Could we try to be more like Jesus, this perfect man who was never too busy to notice someone who needed His touch? Sure, we also have many things to keep us active. Crowds of people and projects press in. Whether at work or at home, we are often on our way to do something time-sensitive and important. But Jesus is calling us to stop and notice. To give a special touch that may heal a heart or cheer a weary soul ... or change a life.
I once heard it said that Jesus' real ministry was the person He found standing in front of Him. Who is that for you today?
Father, in the midst of all my pressing needs and responsibilities, help me not to be too busy to notice and care for the person standing in front of me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Galatians 6:2, "Carry one another's burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." (CSB)
Sometimes it's lonely trying to study the Bible on our own, so we want to invite you to live in deeper community! Join the Facebook group for our next First 5 study, Galatians: How Jesus Invites Us to Live Free. Get access to bonus content not found in the app or the Experience Guide. It's a place to connect with people around the world who are also reading through the study. To join, all you need is the First 5 app!
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REFLECT AND RESPOND:
When you think of the concept of ministry as noticing and caring for the person standing in front of you, what thoughts come to mind? How would living with this perspective change your daily behavior?
We'd love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments.
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