Begging for Help

A cry for help.  What do you do?  You’re tired and hungry, needing some time to yourself.  But there are people – real human people with life issues, so much need.  So you reach our and help.

Mark 7:24-37

A Woman’s Faith

24 Jesus left and went to the region near the city of Tyre, where he stayed in someone’s home. He did not want people to know he was there, but they found out anyway. 25 A woman whose daughter had an evil spirit in her heard where Jesus was. And right away she came and knelt down at his feet. 26 The woman was Greek and had been born in the part of Syria known as Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to force the demon out of her daughter. 27 But Jesus said, “The children must first be fed! It isn’t right to take away their food and feed it to dogs.”

28 The woman replied, “Lord, even dogs eat the crumbs that children drop from the table.”

29 Jesus answered, “That’s true! You may go now. The demon has left your daughter.” 30 When the woman got back home, she found her child lying on the bed. The demon had gone.

Jesus Heals a Man Who Was Deaf and Could Hardly Talk

31 Jesus left the region around Tyre and went by way of Sidon toward Lake Galilee. He went through the land near the ten cities known as Decapolis. 32 Some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk. They begged Jesus just to touch him.

33 After Jesus had taken him aside from the crowd, he stuck his fingers in the man’s ears. Then he spit and put it on the man’s tongue. 34 Jesus looked up toward heaven, and with a groan he said, “Effatha!” which means “Open up!” 35 At once the man could hear, and he had no more trouble talking clearly.

36 Jesus told the people not to say anything about what he had done. But the more he told them, the more they talked about it. 37 They were completely amazed and said, “Everything he does is good! He even heals people who cannot hear or talk.”

Jesus didn’t want people to know he was there.  I guess he needed a rest, time to think through all that had happened, where it was going, what it meant.  He needed to pray, to keep in touch with his Father.  He had been giving and giving, he must have needed time to re-charge. Perhaps he wants to be known for more than a miracle worker, a provider, a slot machine.

And yet still they came to him – for they knew he could help.

And when they come he does reach out.

We’ve mused over this encounter of Jesus with the woman whose daughter is in so much need before.  Jesus seems reluctant to help, but only because he feels it is detracting from his main purpose.  As soon as he realises her need and her faith, he reaches out to her.

And the deaf man – Jesus reaches out to him, as his friends beg Jesus to help.

But Jesus instructs them not to say anything about what he has done.  Why would he do that?  Wouldn’t he want people to know about the might and power of God who could do these amazing things?

Well, yes.  But is there another side?  Does he not want God to be known only for miracles?  Does he not want people to follow him just because they think he can make their life “better”?  Is Jesus looking to offer them more, and them constantly looking for miracles is missing that?  Jesus has already said he doesn’t want people to follow him just because they think he will supply all their need.  He wants them to come, not for an easy life, but to discover faith in God and how much more he has to offer – then perhaps they may realise that God offers way beyond the repairing of bodies and the production of an easy meal.

Jesus is bringing a new way of living, that they might miss if they are so focussed on having their current way of life made better.

Lord,

may I not miss all you have to offer me,

by looking for what I think are the solutions.

May I allow you to work,

as and when you seek to.

May I not restrict you by my horizons,

but seek to look to yours.

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