Friday, December 12, 2008

When people shrink.

People will make Jesus smaller than He is sometimes. Well meaning people that love you will downsize Him and what He's capable of in your life. They don't mean to, they're not being malicious, it just happens. And it happened in Mark 5.

Jesus was on the way to attend to the daughter of Jairus. She was sick and Jairus had pleaded with Jesus to come see her. On his way, Jesus got stopped by someone in the crowd and was delayed. Here is what happens in verse 35:

While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. "Your daughter is dead," they said. "Why bother the teacher any more?"

Do you see how they shrunk Jesus? In that moment, men that had presumably been watching over Jairus’ daughter while he was out recruiting the help of Jesus, came with a message. It was too late. Your daughter is dead. Why keep bothering this teacher.

They shrunk Jesus. They believed the situation had passed His abilities. They believed that the situation had grown larger than He could handle. It was over. How did Christ respond? Here's verse 36:

Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, "Don't be afraid; just believe."

Then He went to Jairus house and healed his daughter.

He refused to stay small. He refused to be limited by other people's expectations of what He was capable of and everyday, He asks us to do the same thing.

I don’t know what you’re going through right now, but Jesus is big enough for it. It is not too late. It is never passed His power.

So when someone tries to shrink Jesus, remember to just believe.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Who is carrying your mat?

I’ve written about accountability before but haven’t spent much time on the topic of friendship. Until I read these verses in Mark 2. Here is what 3-4 says:

Some men came, bringing to him (Jesus) a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on.

I have to confess I’ve always missed the tenderness and strength of the friendship these four men showed the paralytic on the mat. First of all, they carried their friend to Jesus, with the hope that he would get healed. When they found the way blocked, they didn’t give up. They got on the roof, made an opening, spent an undetermined amount of time digging through it and then lowered him gently into Christ’s presence.

Is there a better picture of friendship than that? Going wildly out of your way to bring someone into Christ’s presence? Doing anything and everything you can, to connect someone hurting with the love of Christ?

Who is carrying your mat? Do you have four friends like that?

And perhaps more importantly, who’s mat are you carrying?