back to Weekly Archives
Matthew 15:21-28. She said, “I’m not asking for the children’s food, don’t want them to be neglected. I’ll settle for the scraps. Your crumbs are all I need for they’re more than a full-sized meal.”
A text says, “As many as touched him were made perfectly whole.” Someone I can’t trace said this, “His way through the world had something of the character of a triumphal procession of the powers of life and gladness, for where He came, people who scarcely knew by what name to call Him, hailed Him as One who was clearly enjoying His chosen task of helping men.”
It’s right to see sin as the life-sucking parasite that it is and we must see the sombre side of the business of defying and destroying it. It’s vitally important, however, for us to see the cure as a matter of supreme joy, something to celebrate, something to smile, even dance, about. Whoever is killing this killer must surely be rejoicing, must surely find satisfaction and profound pleasure and if in the hospital the doctors came to us, with relief on their faces, to tell us that we had turned the corner and that the devourer was dying, would we not grin?
The analogy's limited but it's a good one and we must surely see Jesus as going through the world with joy in his heart and a smile on his young face. This is life he is dispensing, health he is handing out as he destroys the dominion of sin and sets the prisoners free and heals the diseased.
When the disciples came from a mission of healing and proclaiming and told him that the evil powers were subject to them because of his name we’re told that Jesus rejoiced! Did he laugh out loud? I don’t know but it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if he did! He knew what this all meant and he saw the gates of hell tremble and the foundations of Satan’s city, Pandemonium, shake because he had a vision of Satan’s overthrow in the lives of the human family.
And for those of you who make it your business to go about in the name of Jesus healing and easing the burden of the oppressed allow yourself the pleasure of knowing that you’re continuing the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, that you’re anticipating the day when he will return and right all wrongs and fill this earth with joyful righteousness. When you help the jobless to get a job, the lonely to find friendship, the voiceless to be heard, the hungry to be fed and the naked to be clothed—when you do these things rejoice in them; it’s the work of God in the world! Give your every cup of cold water with gladness! Go home pleased from the family you helped to get a warm house, their electric reconnected, shoes for the kids or a job for the despairing. Go home and wander from room to room joy-filled that you and Jesus have things in common—you’re both bearing witness to the day when peace and prosperity and dignity and honour will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.
To reduce our commitment of faith in Jesus Christ to church-going, hymn-singing, the pursuit of correct views and personal inner moral excellence and act as though everything else—economics, social change and justice for all—was someone else’s business is a blunder of major proportions.
Is it right for us—especially our leaders—to turn the church into a moral keep-fit organization with worship-gymnasiums filled with mirrors so we can look at ourselves and see how our souls are developing, how muscled we are, how shapely and well-toned we are? Is it right for us to see our involvement in community justice and development as one of our exercises that will build our spiritual muscles? The “spiritual disciplines” can’t be bad but like all other fine endeavors that involve long periods of looking at ourselves that’s very risky!
Heeeeeeeeere she/he IS, “Saint of the Year!”
For you, the really troubled that we haven’t got to yet—and might not have tried very hard to get to—tremble if you must and worry if you can’t avoid it but know this: If you would have it so, Jesus is rejoicing on your behalf until the day when you’ll be able to do it for yourself! In him your day is coming! Your triumph’s been secured! You and the Lord Jesus Christ will sit down together and laugh till your sides split!
Stay! Don't leave Him!