Welcome and thank you so much for joining in!Our guide for the blog this week will be the scripture text that was the basis for today’s message at PoG!
Matthew 9 “ 18 While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples.20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” 22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment. 23 When Jesus entered the synagogue leader’s house and saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes, 24 he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. 25 After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up. 26 News of this spread through all that region. 27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” 28 When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied. 29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; 30 and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” 31 But they went out and spread the news about him all over that region. 32 While they were going out, a man who was demon-possessed and could not talk was brought to Jesus. 33 And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” 34 But the Pharisees said, “It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.”
There is a great deal in these stories! What really captures my heart as we begin this week is the deep and personal nature of Jesus’ compassion. He crosses over tremendous barriers to connect with the people who desperately need His help!
I don’t know about you but many times I won’t even cross the room to help someone out! No kidding – I will get in these “I’m tired and I deserve some veg-time” moods and become almost oblivious to simple needs that people have around me! As I think about this I recall just last week how I was crashing on the couch with something on TV that was adequately sedating me into oblivion and … now that I think about it… my wife was in the kitchen cleaning dishes, counters etc. and I was checked out! I crossed no boundaries to help out when the opportunity was right there!
Now I know the scripture accounts we are considering are much deeper than my story but it is one of the places my mind went when I considered the “barrier-crossing compassion” of Jesus! He crossed the barrier of “uncleanness” by touching a dead girl, and celebrated the touch from a bleeding woman! It was also the compassion of Jesus that touched some blind men – making them whole! And it was His “barrier crossing compassion” that ultimately conquered death for more us! Praise God!
Sometimes I get stuck on trying to figure out the “quality of faith” that the people had by which they received healing. As if there were some “need a miracle” faith formula! Perhaps that is the wrong starting point! Perhaps that would put me too much in charge! I think the best starting point for me is engaging the reality of Jesus - His compassion, power, love, forgiveness etc. I also need to identify and celebrate how He has shown himself strong in my own life - already! Then, having my faith a bit more surrendered and a bit more Jesus - focused maybe I will be open to all “He” wants to do in my life! I get to come to Him fully confident of His grace and truth, compassion and love for me and “ask” boldly for all of my needs!
There is a mystery here – but I think being amazed at His “barrier crossing compassion” is the absolutely best better starting point for me this week! Otherwise, I am sure to get bogged down right off the bat!
What grabbed you from this text or the message today? I look forward to the conversation this week!