One more thing this week that I love about Jesus, which is this:
When we read the Gospels, we read about the people that Jesus healed. Blind men see. Lame men walk. Deaf men hear the voice of their Lord. Demons are cast out. Poor are welcomed in. There's nothing that Jesus cannot do, no infirmity He cannot heal, no brokenness He cannot mend. And I think that's the lesson most of us take from these stories - that God is able.
I only sort of love that about Jesus. I mean, it's nice, but...it's missing something.
The real story of the Gospels is not that Jesus was able to heal all infirmity, but that He was willing. That's what I love about Jesus.
All of these men and women come to Him, broken and beaten down, burdened by whatever it is that curses them. They cry out from the sides of the road, "Have mercy on me!" And He never says no. He never says He shouldn't. He never says they don't deserve it. He never says that some people have to be blind, have to be deaf, have to be lame, have to be broken. He never apologizes, then tells them they have to stay that way. He heals everybody who asks Him. Even some who don't.
It's kind of a foreign idea to us, isn't it? We are a people who judge. We are a people who look at someone else and try to figure out if they are worthy, or able, to be healed. We look at them and wonder what the possible benefit of healing would be for them, and for us were they to live among us healed. We pick and choose what we heal and don't heal, who we help and don't help.
Cancer is a big fight right now. Wouldn't we love to eradicate cancer? Apparently yes and no. On a broad scale, of course, but look at where funding goes and you see we're primarily fighting just a handful of cancers, hoping to maybe one day branch those answers into the broader question. And we're primarily fighting for adults. Just the other night, the news reported that only 4% of all cancer research funding goes to research on children's cancers. Seems we're picking and choosing.
Or look at the money we're pouring into Multiple Sclerosis, a mere fraction of some of the other diseases that plague our world and yet, exponentially higher than the funding for, say, fibromyalgia.
It doesn't even have to be medical. We put money into urban and suburban school programs at a much higher rate than we invest in rural education. We set up funds for the poor, but only a certain set of the poor. We provide food for this family, but not for that one.
We run into people every day who have a measure of brokenness in their lives, and we pick and choose who we help and don't help, who is worth our time and efforts and who is not. Jesus never bothered. People came to Him, and it didn't matter the question or the questioner; the only thing that mattered was the answer. And Jesus was the answer.
He still is.
Knowing the way He responded to so many different men and women with so many troubles gives me the confidence to stand before Him with my own brokenness. I'm not worried about going to Jesus and appearing weak; I know He is strong. I'm not worried that my problems might be too big; I know He is able. I'm not worried that I might not be enough; I know He is willing. He died for me, for crying out loud. Of course He wants me to truly live!
There's some message for ministry in this story, too, and I'm going to share that with you on Monday.