What is it like to come to a saviour who is both unimaginably powerful and yet full of tender compassion? In Matthew 8–10 we read about a series of events, each of which involves Jesus acting in extraordinary might, but often to just one or two people at a time.
Reading it all at once is like flicking through a photo album, where every polaroid has captured an unbelievable moment of divine and mortal interaction. These events would seem too otherworldly if it wasn’t for the fact that they take place in the mess of the world we know so well. What are we to make of these episodes and what do they say to us today?
On Sunday we paused after the sermon to talk about ‘application’ and share some of the ways we’ve been changed as we’ve been getting to know our Saviour better. Lots of us applied these truths about Jesus to situations of stress, worry and fear.
Maybe we experience a frenetic pace that is strikingly modern, but the stress of life in this world is nothing new. We only need to remind ourselves of the woman in chapter 9, who had been ill and bleeding for twelve years - her situation is a great example of an overwhelming, despairing problem. Now watch how Jesus interacts with her:
She said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well. Matthew 9:21-22
I find Jesus’ compassion in these few words utterly compelling. They are full of gentleness and kindness – take heart, daughter! But behind the kindness is the power to save. In that very moment, the ailment that would have consumed her life for twelve years was finally eradicated from her body. Here is a saviour I can and want to trust because he is both powerful and good. Has life unravelled this week, month or year? Take heart child; your king has you safe in his hands. Rest in him amid the chaos.
Why not catch up on Sunday evening’s sermon and application discussion, and use some of these examples from people at the 6pm to help your own meditation on the passage?
- Life often seems very all-consuming, pressurised and frustrating. It’s such a helpful reminder to focus on Jesus and the salvation we have from him. That is so freeing when you feel crushed by life.
- I can stop worrying about having a great life here. I often worry and fret but if I understand who Jesus is and what he promises, I can live knowing that the perfect career and house are worth far less than knowing a king who is powerful and merciful.
- We should feel compelled to pray instead of worrying.
- If Jesus has defeated death and he promises that I can join him if I put my trust in him, then I don’t need to worry about things going wrong in this life, as I know my eternal future is secure.
- If my eternal future is totally secure then I can live fearlessly on this earth regardless of trials that come my way, and this attitude can form every decision I make, or attempt to make!
- I often get more excited about the idea of resurrection rather than an eternity of knowing Jesus. This has been really helpful in reminding me that eternity is all about a relationship with him, and therefore that’s what is most important today.
Photo: David Marcu