I have been seized by the power of a great affection. —Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel
Imagine for a moment: You lived 2,000 years ago in a village near the Sea of Galilee. One of your kids can’t walk because when he was little, he crawled into the street, and a cart ran over both of his legs. It’s 1,700 years before the invention of surgery, and he is crippled for life. When you’re gone, his survival will rely upon others’ mercy as he begs.
One day, your blind neighbor peers at you over the fence and says, “Hi.”
Confused, you wave your hand in front of his face. He waves back.
Then he tells you about this Jesus guy who’s been healing the blind and lame. For the first time since your son’s accident, you feel hope. You drop everything, bundle up your son, and make for the hills in search of Jesus. The 10-mile journey leaves you wiped, and when you arrive, there are masses of people looking for Jesus. Determined, you comb the hills with them until someone calls out, “He’s over here!”
Everyone rushes to get in line and waits. As the sun rises, you are a dozen people back, and hope is overflowing. Every single person Jesus touches is healed.
You’re now second in line and then first. You rearrange your son so Jesus can reach him, but just then, He looks at you and says, “I’m sorry. I have to go.”
Back to the present. I’ve embellished the story, but it really happened.
At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. … At daybreak, Jesus went to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. But he said, “I must … ” (Luke 4:40, 42-43)
How could He do this? Jesus understood that sometimes you drop everything—you even leave people unhealed—in order to do the MOST important thing.
If you’re like me, you’re thinking Jesus’ most important thing had better be good. Really good.
And it is. It’s the best.
Compassionate Savior, sometimes it’s hard to say no when people are involved. Most of the time, it’s hard to hear no when my people are involved. I can’t imagine how hard it was for You to be limited by time while overflowing with love. I’m ready to discover what compelled You to leave; I’m ready to be compelled. Amen.
Learn more from Pete’s teaching on Luke, What Will Jesus Do?