Sunday, March 16, 2014

He had compassion on them

Matthew 9:18-38

In college, I majored in Mathematics.  I loved the order of it, like a puzzle I enjoyed to decipher.  It was logical, it made sense. It was dependable and consistent, and if I followed the rules, I could always arrive at the correct answer.

I guess that is why reading the gospels always confused me.  I was looking for order, for the list.  Do items a, b, and c and this is how it will turn out for you. But Jesus defies order.  He is so other.  You just can't figure it out.

Nowhere is that more evident than in His healing and miracles.  They follow no pattern.  Belief certainly helps, but it is not necessary.  Here Jesus healed the woman who suffered with bleeding for 12 years because she snuck up behind Him and touched the hem of His robe. “Be happy, dear woman. You are made well because you believed.”

In the next verses, He raises a dead girl to life, even though people had already come to mourn her and laughed at Jesus when He arrived. He tells them, “Go away. The girl is not dead. She is only sleeping.” Then Jesus grasps the dead girl's hand and raises her back to life.

Continuing on, Jesus is harassed by two blind men, following Him and shouting, “Son of David, have mercy on us!” Jesus asks them:“Do you believe that I am able to make you see again?”  He checks their faith before He heals them.

There is no pattern, although I look diligently for one.  The dead girl had no faith. The blind men were yelling at Him.  The bleeding woman did not even ask Jesus for help.

Then it occurs to me: why am I looking still for a pattern?  Jesus, You healed because You loved.  Matthew, who was there and watched You closely, puts it well: Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 

You healed because of Your compassion. Nothing they did. It's all You, all You.

I see that in my own life.  So many times You redeemed situations when I never asked You.  You protected me despite the dead-end path I was taking.  You loved and had compassion on me when I was NOT trusting You, when I was DEAD to Your Spirit.  You took my hand, like the little girl, and raised me to new life.

Jesus, You went through ALL the towns, spreading the gospel and healing EVERY disease.  You are going through New Jersey, even NOW, spreading the gospel and healing every disease.  I just can't see it. Like the men, I am blind.

Beloved, have mercy on me too!  Open my eyes to what You are doing all around me.  I want to be a part of it.  Send me out too!  Send me out to have compassion as You did.  Please send me out to gather Your harvest! 

“There is such a big harvest of people to bring in. But there are only a few workers to help harvest them. God owns the harvest. Ask Him to send more workers to help gather His harvest.”

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