HERE: Day 13

Matthew 9:18-38

In recent days, there have been a lot of video clips circling the internet of contestants on the television show “America’s Got Talent“. Non-assuming, overlooked, mentally or physically challenged, people we might considered “less than“, who got up on the stage and blew everyone away with their talent! Wow! It puts us in our place, prejudging them, doesn’t it? I mean, it is astounding and amazing sometimes! This talent comes forth from a seemingly unexpected place; and Jesus was showing the people that truth about Himself. The power of Heaven itself was being displayed through Jesus, even though He was not at all what a king looked like to them. He offers the same thing to you and me. You and I can allow His power to be poured out of us for His glory!

Jesus had just explained His parable about wineskins, teaching that it is not new wine being poured into old wineskins, but rather a whole new wineskin with brand new wine! Jesus did not come for us to add Him to our religiosity. Jesus came so that we would die to ourself and be reborn as brand new people that could receive His Holy Spirit from Whom all power flows! His power at work in and through us would be what draws others to Jesus and what makes us feel happy, fulfilled and free because we are finally who we were created to be!!!

Kingdom Living Is Powerful Living!

Jesus spends the remaining verses of chapter 9 showing what power can take place when a person is a new wineskin with new wine, when one is born again and filled with the Holy Spirit.

A ruler kneels before Jesus (because worship precedes want) and begs for his daughter to be healed. I wonder how long he had to stand in line to get to Jesus? I wonder if there is anyone we need to stand in line for? Is there anyone we would stand in line for, who can’t stand in line for themselves? SELAH

As Jesus and the disciples head toward the ruler’s home, a woman interrupts them and touches the edge of Jesus’ garment, believing that if she could just do that, she would find healing of a 12 year sickness. What faith! We can have that kind of faith too! Jesus longs for us to!

I wonder what might have happened if someone had interrupted us when we had come to get Jesus to heal our child? What if the ruler had stood in line for hours trying to get to Jesus, and just when he gets to Him, this woman breaks in the line and reaches out to touch Jesus, totally reverting His focus off of the ruler and his daughter and onto the woman! How would you have felt? How might you have reacted? Just a thought to ponder. Jesus heals them both. One touched Him and one He touched and yet both were healed. It doesn’t matter how you get to Jesus, in His presence there IS healing, if you have faith.

Jesus then heals two blind men, saying, “According to your faith will it be done to you.” And Jesus told them not to share about their healing, probably so He could stay there longer and help more people. But the two once blind men couldn’t help themselves. They went and told everyone. You, too, have a story to tell of what Jesus has done to heal you! I pray you get a case of the “can’t help it’s” too! Tell your story. It is needed or you wouldn’t still be HERE.

While they are running around telling everybody about what just happened, Jesus drives out a demon and the crowd is amazed but the Pharisees say He is demonic. Jesus will address this later in Matthew 12.

Matthew 9 ends with Jesus going throughout the region teaching, preaching and healing. Jesus relentlessly went about doing this from one, pure motivation in His heart: compassion. Maybe the ruler let the woman who touched Jesus have her moment without a fuss because of his compassion. Maybe not. Maybe it all happened so fast that he didn’t have time to respond one way or the other. All I do know is that our country, and I’ll start with me, needs to ask the Father to develop in us hearts of compassion for our fellow man. Oh how things would change if we just did that.

Kingdom Living Is Driven By Compassion

Compassion is power. Power to let another have your spot, go first, or get what you wanted, because you would rather have it for them than yourself. Suddenly, I realize how selfish a society we live in and how selfish I often am. Jesus saw the people like sheep without a shepherd. How do we see other people? Do we mis-judge them like we do with “America’s Got Talent”? Or do we see every person as creations of God with seeds of greatness in them that they just may not see in themselves just yet, and they may need someone to help them see it. Compassion. Who needs you to “shepherd” them?

If you feel as though you are the non-assuming, overlooked, mentally or physically challenged, person others might considered “less than“, God wants to use you to blow everyone away with His power at work in and through you! If you are already living a powerful life with Christ, maybe it’s time you went and found those who feel as though they are the non-assuming, overlooked, mentally or physically challenged, person others might considered “less than“, and God wants to use you to lead them in unveiling His power in their lives!

The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.”

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4 thoughts on “HERE: Day 13

  1. “What if the ruler had stood in line for hours trying to get to Jesus, and just when he gets to Him, this woman breaks in the line and reaches out to touch Jesus, totally reverting His focus off of the ruler and his daughter and onto the woman! How would you have felt?”
    I have felt like the way you described this ruler, waiting in line to see Jesus while more urgent needs are handled first. I am tired, worn and weak. Thank you for the reminder that both needs were met. God’s timing is a hard concept but a necessary one…

    • Thank you for being so transparent. Times like these are SO HARD. SO grateful for a Father that I can bring all this to and crawl up in His arms for comfort, encouragement, and strength for the next step in the journey. Do not grow weary in your well doing, for in time, you will reap a harvest. Just don’t quit! In your weakness, He is strong! Lean on the everlasting arms of Jesus, my friend!

  2. I love Matthew 9. It’s like a glimpse into a day in the life of Christ and it is busy and it is FULL! I can relate to that. My life is busy and full. Regardless if this chapter actually records a 24-hour period or not, Matthew shows that Jesus encountered people from all walks of life and was under constant demand. From the opening verse when Jesus got into a boat to head back to his hometown to the end of the chapter as he looks out onto the harvest field, I read of at least 10 specific encounters:
    • Jesus heals a paralytic brought by his friends
    • Teachers of the law who question Christ’s authority
    • Calling Matthew and dinner with sinners
    • Pharisees who question Jesus eating with sinners
    • Disciples of John questions about fasting
    • Leader’s daughter raised from the dead
    • Healing the woman in the crowd
    • Healing the 2 blind men
    • Casting out a demon
    • Challenging his disciples to pray for workers for the harvest field

    Talk about being busy! Yet, Jesus engaged each encounter with the appropriate response. How I wish I could respond appropriately to everyone I encounter- even when I am interrupted in the midst of a busy day. That’s exactly what happened when the synagogue ruler approached Jesus pleading for the life of his daughter. Jesus was on the way to answer his request when a woman came up from behind him to touch his cloak. “If only I could just touch the hem of his garment”. There have been many times in my life when I have felt this desperation of knowing that if only I could get close to Jesus I will be made well. Perhaps the woman knew how busy and in demand Jesus was and certainly her issue couldn’t warrant his attention- but it did. Jesus allowed his schedule to be interrupted to respond with love and compassion to this woman’s need and He was still able to go and raise the ruler’s daughter from the dead. I love this story so much- God is not too busy for me! In my life I often find myself too busy for the ones closest to me, but not with Jesus. He doesn’t run out of power because he used it up on someone else. The same power that raised Him from the dead is available to me to be empowered for what each day brings. (Eph. 1:19) My challenge for us, for me, is to look for ways to respond appropriately to everyone I engage and to have margin in my life when God allows the holy interruptions. I want to be so full of Jesus that He can work in and through me to bless others.

    • SO great, Jennifer! I find my self often reacting in my responses instead of relying on the Holy Spirit to help me in my responses. A lot seemed to be thrown at Jesus at one time. He handled it with such grace and made each person feel like they were special to Him…..because they were! I want to be empowered to do the same! Surrendering to this today in my own life that I would not be so busy in my life that I miss those beautiful opportunities that are right in front of me.