Thursday, March 20, 2014

Lent Day #15 - Mark 5:21-43 #Lent2014 #ChristianBlogger

This post is one in a series of reflections for Lent.  I invite you to go back and read the previous reflections.

It certainly didn't take long for me to fall behind again did it.  I have to be more disciplined about this.  I apologize.  Here goes nothing.

Picture this scene.  Jesus is pressing through a thick crowd of people.  One of those people is a woman who has had an issue of blood for twelve years.  She can see Jesus ahead.  Apparently, she has heard of the wonders that he has been doing.  She has probably also heard the testimony of John the Baptist about Jesus.  She has tried everything to resolve the physical problem that has plagued her for so long.   She has taken in all that information and decided within herself that to merely touch the hem of his garment will heal her.  Think about the idea she has about Jesus.  She has to believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is the Son of God.  The disciples have not even gotten that far yet.  This is an amazing amount of faith.  She has no desire to draw attention to herself.  She doesn't want to stop Jesus, or interrupt what he is doing.  All she wants to do is grab a hold of his robe as he is passing through the crowd.  She manages to get close enough, and lays hold of his garment.  She is instantly healed.  This is an issue that she has had for twelve years, and instantly it is gone.

Jesus is said to have felt the power leave him.  He stops and asks who has touch him.  Can you imagine how embarrassed she must have been?  She was on this covert mission of faith, and now her cover has been blown.  She sheepishly steps out of the crowd and confesses.  Jesus isn't upset that she has touched him.  God is ultimately concerned about his own glory.  A miracle in secret is not the type of miracle that can ultimately bring glory to God in a broader way.  The woman would of course glorify God, but God's concern is that he might be made known to all.  Jesus of course is God, but his objective at this point is just a little bit different.  He is concerned about the glory of God, but he is also concerned about miracles that will demonstrate that he is who he says he is, and that he has been sent by the Father.

I am astonished at the humility of Jesus in this instant.  He is the incarnate Son of God.  He could rightly have said that he had made her well.  He didn't do that.  He told her that her faith had made her well.  It is undeniable that God healed her, but her healing was given of God on account of her faith.

Before the crowd even has a chance to absorb what has just happened.  A man named Jairus comes onto the scene.  He is seeking out Jesus, because his daughter is very ill.  He has apparently heard the testimony of John the Baptist and the testimony of the works of Jesus.  He is convinced that Jesus can heal her.  As He and Jesus are heading to his home, his servants come to him.  They tell him that his daughter dead.  They tell him it is useless to bother Jesus now.  The little girl is dead.  None of the servants believe that there is any hope.  Jesus says have faith, and they continues to his home.  When they arrive there is this commotion.  Jesus tells the crowd that the girl is only sleeping.  The crowd laughs at Jesus.  I love the next part. Jesus sends the doubters away.  The same voice that spoke everything into existence tells the little girl to get up.  The little girl sits up and Jesus tells them they ought to get her something to eat.  Everyone is amazed.

I think there are a couple of things that we can draw out of this for our everyday life.  Faith in God can accomplish the impossible.  This woman had tried every human means possible to be healed.  It was not until she abandon all hope in men, and placed it completely in God, that she was healed.  She had completely sold out to God.  She had a confidence in the deepest part of herself, that this man Jesus was the answer to her deepest needs.  God blessed her for that devotion.

God did not heal her for her own benefit.  That is why it was so important that her miracle be exposed.  God's first priority is his own glory, and that he may be known to the nations.  If she were to be healed and then sneak away, then God would have been robbed of glory that is rightly his.  God wants to be glorified, but he wants to be glorified on a wider scale than just the individual.  He wants his glory to be seen throughout the world.

The last thing that I would say, is that nothing is over till God says so.  The servants run out to meet Jairus and tell him to give up the hope.  Jesus may not rebuke them, but he just encourages them to trust and have faith.  When he arrives he again says she is just sleeping.  The crowds laugh at him.  There is always hope when God is involved.

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