Lent 2009 – 34 Steps to the Cross

PeterStepsNow when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. Then a man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying.

As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.

“Who touched me?” Jesus asked.

When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”

But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”

Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” (Luke 8:40-48)

Peter’s education on the nature of faith took many forms and we can gain much by spending time in those situations where he seems to play an insignificant role. He is with Jesus as the Lord heads toward the home Jairus to heal his daughter. Peter understands this mission and we can almost picture the burly fisherman blocking for The Healer as the crowd pushes in to be closer to Him. Suddenly, Jesus stops and demands to know who has touched him in the crowd. Peter is obviously stunned, wondering how He could ask this question  of a crowd that presses in from all sides to be in contact with Him. The fisherman states the obvious.

Jesus knows that this touch was different. It was a touch of faith, a hand reaching out of the crowd that believed that He was the Healer. Peter misses this because he is focused on ‘the mission.’ Any deviation from the journey is unacceptable to him. Jesus knows differently though. He knows that a needy faith encounter can occur at any moment and in any situation. Commitments of faith do not occur only at the altar or when they are programmed. We can learn this same lesson as Peter did. We can train ourselves to be more aware of our surroundings, of those interactions that might not seem significant, and to look for those who need the touch of Jesus.

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Lent 2009 – 36 Steps To The Cross

PeterStepsWhile 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?” Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. (Mark 5:35-37)

As we saw yesterday, our calling and ministry are not self-selected. Instead, we are called into specific ministries at the behest of the Lord. In our competitive age it is easy to become envious of the call or ministry of another but the lesson in humility that we are to understand is that all ministry in the name of Jesus is important. In the instances such as the above, what would have been the effect of the other disciples complaining that they were not among the three allowed to accompany Jesus to Jairus’ home? Would the chaos have furthered the kingdom message or checked it?

Modern ministry is often caught up in worldly comparisons among churches and pastorates and the backlash gives those outside of the church the negative impression that many have. Where is our humility? Why can we not be rested in our specific calling while allowing the ‘three’ to go on to their ministry? Perhaps this Lenten season is our opportunity to determine how much of our ego is wrapped up in the ministry decisions we make. 

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