Pressing your buttons

And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
Mark 5.34

There are some people who just cannot be ignored. Wherever they go or whatever they do they cause a stir. I cannot think of anybody of whom that is more true, than Jesus. How we react to Jesus is from the Christian perspective the most important thing we do in life and that includes if we completely ignore him. How many chances do we get? For modern people the opportunities are far more than in ancient times when communication was essentially limited to face to face contact. How would you have reacted in this series of events?

Jesus had the previous day been teaching them the power of the word of God in the parables of the sower, the lamp under a basket, the seed growing in the earth and the mustard seed. Mark 4.1-33 Jesus travelled with his disciples across the sea of Galilee and when the boat was in extreme danger of sinking the terrified disciples woke Jesus and with the words said to the wind and sea, ‘Peace! Be still’ v39 he calmed both the wind and sea. Jesus then rebuked the disciples for lack of faith. v40The disciples failed to make the connections between the teaching, the person and the action. Their reaction was therefore confusion and fear because they had not yet properly understood Jesus’ identity. Does the identity of Jesus confuse us?

When Jesus and the disciples landed in the Decapolis, Jesus freed a man from the power of demons who entered a herd of pigs who then rushed over a cliff and drowned. When the locals saw with their own eyes a man they had previously had to chain up in his right mind and what had happened to the pigs they wanted Jesus out of their lives. ‘They began to beg Jesus to depart from their region. Mark 5.17 The man freed from his mental and physical anguish wanted to climb back in the boat with Jesus. But Jesus told him to go home and tell his friends, ‘how much the Lord has done for you, and how much he has had mercy on you.’ Mark5.19 The unnamed man did that and more, he travelled around the region’s ten cities proclaiming what Jesus had done for him with tremendous impact. The locals could not cope with the impact Jesus made on their lives, whilst the transformed man excitedly obeyed Jesus and proclaimed his power in his life. Do we shun him or do we tell all we can of all he has done in our lives?

Desperation can bring courage and preparedness to sacrifice our dignity. Jairus needed both of these to beg Jesus to save his daughter’s life. He was a prominent synagogue leader, he would have known how much Jesus was upsetting the religious hierarchy and potentially sacrificing his respect in the community he threw himself at Jesus feet. He had faith, perhaps born out of desperation. On the way to Jairus’ home they are greeted with the news that it is too late. Jesus reassured Jairus and told him not to be afraid and believe. The mourners were already at the house, indicating she had been dead a while, and laughed in their faces. Jesus however took a few close disciples and the inner family into the girl’s presence and said, ‘Little girl, I say to you, arise. Mark 5.41 Once more in this precious intimate moment Jesus demonstrated the power of his word. The girl as if to show she was indeed physically alive and well both walked and ate. Jesus then told them to keep what had happened to themselves. Why was this? Could it be that he was not yet ready to show his power over death to those who were moments ago mocking him. This was a beautiful intimate family encounter with Jesus. We do not know how this then changed the life and ministry of Jairus and the rest of the family.

On the way to Jairus’ home a distressed and socially outcast woman touched Jesus outer garment as he walked by. There was a press of people around him but Jesus could tell that her faith had brought about healing even though he did not know who it was who touched him. She knew and Jesus knew she had been healed. Jesus asked to see her. The woman who would have known years of scorn and rejection was full of fear and one can imagine shame to confess her need in public. But she showed great humble courage and spoke the truth to Jesus. He spoke to her words of reassurance, peace and healing. One more life had been transformed.

Can you place yourself in any of those situations? How would you have reacted?

What is your response to Jesus in your life?

Lord, I need you – Chris Tomlin