Love is very personal.

Do not fear, only believe.’ Mark 5.36

Christianity is very different to any other major religion to the degree that the relationship between the believer or follower and God is intensely intimate. In other religions the concept of God is remote and judgmental or a series of rules or road map to find God or some form of spiritual existence. You are not to know whether you have achieved the religion’s goal in this life. They leave the believer in a state of anxiety. One cannot know whether one is accepted, hope is uncertain. Christianity differs in that it is not based on following a road map or awaiting an uncertain judgment and therefore one spends one’s life striving anxiously. Christianity is based on an individual relationship with Jesus who knows us, loves us and promises a confident future based upon the reality of his own resurrection. He cares for each of his disciples separately, the Holy Spirit meets our individual needs consistently reminding us of him who loved us enough to die for us. We do not have to go through identical steps to meet Jesus. Jesus meets us at our point of need and from that place reveals himself to us.

Each of Jesus’ followers has their own story to tell of how they came to faith in him. The man with the withered hand went to the synagogue as he probably did every Saturday. Jesus was there, we do not know if the man knew that would be the case when he woke that morning. He certainly could not have known this was the day his life would change. The main room of the synagogue would have been exclusively men, with standing room only. Jesus picked him out from the rest, noticed his hand and called him over. The man had not approached Jesus and asked for healing as the crowds had previously done. Jesus looked round at the Pharisees who had been questioning and challenging him looking for reasons to bring about his downfall. The risks to Jesus’ life did not put him off, immediately, lovingly, healing the man. Instead he faced his accusers and defied them to publicly denounce him for healing on the Sabbath. He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and his hand was restored. Mark 3.5 Jesus had picked the man out from the congregation, had pity on him, met his need in the face of the men who, ‘Immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, on how to destroy him.’ Mark 3.6

The woman who had lived with a discharge of blood for twelve years in the anonymity of the crowd followed Jesus as he strode out with purpose to heal or restore from the dead Jairus’ daughter. She came up behind him and with faith just touched his garment. No normal person in the press of the crowd would have even noticed. Jesus however felt healing power go out of him, stopped and looked for the person who had such a personal need of him. ‘Who touched my garments,’ he asked. Mark 5.31 The woman knew immediately she had been healed and now she was afraid but even so in fear and trembling she stepped forward, fell at his feet and told her story. Then came Jesus’ words to her and her alone. Words of tenderness, understanding, love and reassurance. ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.’ Mark 5.34

One was individually called by Jesus, another with timid faith came to Jesus, in a crowd but alone. Jesus met their need then and there. Jesus had a personal word for Jairus at the point when he heard the news he had been dreading. His daughter had died. They were words meant for one man at the time but words that apply to many. ‘Do not fear, only believe.’ Mark 5.36 They were words of comfort and encouragement. He then took the close family to the girl’s room and in private restored the family.

Have you personally met with Jesus yet?

What is your story about how Jesus has met with you?

You Say – Lauren Daigle (201 million views, that’s ridiculous.)