Daily Discipline #121
By Colleen Donahue
In our last study we began to observe Jesus in the events of His life. It has been said that much of what is important in life is "caught not taught." We observed all those people that came to Jesus needing something. I hope you concluded that all of us qualify to knock on Christ's door.
Then we looked at what the problems were that were brought to Christ. They were diverse and beyond an individual's power to solve it. Again I hope that you concluded there is no problem too small or large for Christ to handle.
In observing how people approached Christ I found it comforting to know that while coming to Jesus in full faith is the best way, the important thing is that we come. Jesus loves when we come to Him like a child -- full of love and trust that He will know what to do.
Finally, we looked at the situation where it was Jesus doing the observing of a person in need and how He responded. He was not a "mind your own business", "pass on by" kind of guy. He got involved.
Now, in our study today we'll observe what Christ actually did in each person's story and the common elements of how Jesus responded to those that approached Him for help (or those that Jesus approached to help).
Let's continue to study.....
Jesus Teaches By Example - Part 2
What did Jesus do in the situations with people that came to Him?
Day 1- Sometimes He asked them a qualifying question that helped them clarify what they wanted and whether they believed that Jesus could provide it.
Matthew 9:27 / Matthew 20:21,32 / Mark 10:47 / Luke 18:36 / John 2:2 / John 5:6
By asking questions and listening to the person's response He didn't presume as to what the person needed or wanted. Do we take the time to listen? Listening involves seeing beyond their words to their heart.
Day 2- Jesus, as Son of God, saw through to the person's believing heart and commended them.
Matthew 8:13 / Matthew 9:22,29 / Luke 18:42
The important issue of a person's heart and motive was most important to Jesus. We cannot presume to judge another's heart, but God does give us our intuition to see behind the truth of a matter. The Holy Spirit within us is able to give us discernment regarding another person and their real heart.
Day 3- In several cases Jesus touched the person. This was most significant in the case of the leper. To touch a leper made you unclean and the disease was contagious.
Matthew 8:3,15 / Matthew 20:34 / Mark 1:31 / 7:33 / Luke 13:13 /Luke14:4
There are times when a touch speaks far louder than words. A touch crosses all barriers and says I'm not afraid to be involved with you. In touching a leper Jesus was showing His willingness to be involved with even the most repulsive or dangerous person.
Day 4- Jesus often saw past a person's problem to the demon that was controlling that person. As soon as the demons or evil spirits were dealt with, the person was healed. So, in these cases we see Jesus directing His words or action to the demons within the person.
Matthew 8:16,29-32 /Matthew 9:32-33 / Mark 1:25-26, 34 / Mark 3:11-12 / Mark 5:8-13 / Luke 11:14
Jesus saw the cause behind the problem and dealt with that first. Do we take the time need to get to the root of the problem rather than putting band aides on the symptoms?
Day 5- In these situations Jesus asks the person to do something which they normally could not do. As they obey and do what Jesus asked, they are healed. He asked something even of those that are dead.
Mark 3:5 / Luke 6:10 / Luke 7:14-15 / John 5:8-9 / John 11:43-44
Jesus often tested a person on the issue of obedience. It was as they obeyed that they were healed. Are we willing to obey the little things that God is asking of us as we look to Him for help and healing of a bigger issue?
Day 6-At times he helped a person while at the same time using it as an example to teach a lesson or expose the hard hearts of the officials.
Matthew 21:14-16 /Matthew 12:9-14 / Mark 3:1-6 / Luke 6:6-10 /Luke13:10-17 /Luke 14:1-4 / John 9:1-41
Day 7- In these examples Jesus sees through to the heart of unbelief. There is no faith but only a desperation for help and a desire to see a miracle. Jesus does indeed help but He also rebukes them for their unbelief.
Matthew 17:14-21 / Mark 9:14-29 / Luke 9:37-43 / John 4:46-54
Note that "everything is possible to him who believes." Mark 9:23
Day 8- And then there were those impossible situations of needing to feed 4-5,000 people! Jesus started with a practical accounting of what He already had in hand (5 loaves and 2 fish). Then he took what He had, offered it to God, blessed it and then broke it for distribution. As He gave all he had, the Father blessed and multiplied so much that there were leftovers. Here are the accounts recorded in the gospels....
Matthew 14:15-21/Matthew 15:32-38 / Mark 6:35-44 / Luke 9:12-17 / John 6:5-13
From these episodes of Christ's miraculous feeding of the crowds we learn that we don't need to see all the resources in hand before we can give. God has all the resources needed to supply those needs we can't possibly meet, but we need to start the supply flowing by sharing what we have.
Day 9- It is interesting to notice all the times that Jesus helped a person in private, the times when He took them away from the crowds first and all the times that He asked them not to talk about what happened and who He (i.e. Jesus) was.
Matthew 8:1-4 /Matthew 12:15-16 / Mark 1:29-31 /Mark 1:32-34 /Mark 7:32-37 /Mark 8:22-26
Are we content to help others in obscurity?
Day 10- And to others Jesus encouraged them to go home and tell all that God had done for them.
Mark 5:1-20 / Luke 8:26-39
Our witness always begins at home and spreads from there.
Day 11- Sometimes Jesus did little rituals in the healing process. I believe in these cases it was for the benefit of the person. Could this have been a help for the person's faith? Just a word or thought from the Lord would have sufficed but Jesus always looked at the individual and what they needed.
Mark 7:32-37 / 8:22-26 / John 9:1-7
Day 12- In one instance Christ tests a mother to bring out what is really in her heart. He is not being mean. She passes the test and Jesus rewards her with what she asked for.
Mark 7: 25-30
Jesus has a way of sometimes testing us to draw out what is in our heart. We may not even know what's in there until He puts His finger on it.
Day 13- In another instance when word came that his friend Lazarus was ill, it states that He stayed where he was for two more days instead of going immediately to his friend. This story illustrates that whatever is past time for men is present time for God. God is not on man's timetable. He can work anywhere, anytime and for anyone.
John 11: 1-6
Day 14- Finally, there are all the times that people just brought their loves ones to Jesus and He healed them. No conversations are recorded, no big show. Just a quiet taking care of the business at hand.
Matthew 8:16 / Matthew 12:15-16 /Matthew 15:29-31 /Matthew 21:14 / Mark 1:32-34 / Luke 18:15-17
When it comes to helping others we like to world to notice. But like Jesus, are we willing to operate quietly without an audience in our help for others?
Now let's look at some of these same situations to see what happened.
Day 15- Several times Jesus asked the person if they believed He could heal them. This was important because Jesus let them know that it was going to be according to their faith that healing would come.
Matthew 8:13 /Matthew 9:29 /Matthew 17:20 / Mark 9:23
Day 16- Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. We are so sure of what God can do that we are willing to obey even when we feel it's no use.
Hebrews 11:1 / James 2:7 / 1 Samuel 17:37
Day 17- Time and again the Bible tells us that ....
-the woman was healed at the very moment that Jesus spoke. - Matthew 9:22
-the man spoke immediately when the demon left. Luke 11:14
-the leper was cured instantly. Matthew 8:3
-sight was received immediately. Mark 10:52
-all the sick were healed. Matthew 12:15 / 21:14
So we see that our healing can be all at once and immediate.
Day 18- No where does it say that any of these people tried to do any self improvement before coming to Jesus. They just came in their wretched states knowing in their heart that He could make them whole.
Isaiah 1:18 / 55:1 / Matthew 11:28 / Revelations 22:17
Day 19- While many healings were instant upon Christ's word, others included some physical applications. Some healings were gradual and in progressive steps. Jesus always know what would be best for any individual and He knows what will be best for us.
Mark 7: 32-35 / Mark 8:23-25 / John 9: 6-7, 11
Day 20- A few times Jesus healed so that others could learn from it.
Mark 3: 1-5 / Luke 18:15-17 / John 9:3
Day 21- There were times when Jesus worked a miracle using the people available and the material available. As they obeyed His orders a miracle happened.
Matthew 14: 15-21 / Mark 6: 35-42 / John 2: 1-10
Day 22- I think these stores tell us just how important obedience is even by people who aren't quite sure what is going to happen. No doubt they were thinking "how will putting water into these jugs help the wine situation? " Or the disciples were probably thinking "How will breaking and distributing these five loaves feed all these people?" This the the test of obeying God. Will we do what seems an irrelevant or hopeless act just because God has asked it of us? When we obey, then we can expect God to do the real work.
1 Sam 15:22 / Genesis 22: 1-14 / 1 John 3:22
Day 23- This is well illustrated when Jesus Christ gave a crippled man a command which the man could not do. But, as the man obeyed He was healed.
John 5: 5-6
It was the same, in asking a man with a withered hand to stretch it out.
Mark 3: 1-6
Day 24- To Jesus, working from a distance was no barrier. We see this in the stories of ones that came to Him on behalf of loved ones that couldn't come.
Matthew 8: 5-13 / Mark 7: 24-30 / John 4: 46-53
Day 25 - If you have a loved one a long distance away from you, you can be encouraged to bring them to Jesus. Time and space are no problem for the Son of God who is eternal and omnipresent.
Mark 11: 24 / Luke 11:9 / John 15:7
Day 26- When Christ spoke a word things happened. But when it came to demons, they often would not leave a person without one last fight. If Jesus has spoken a word in your life you may find Satan tearing you down all the harder. But, stand your ground because Satan must flee when Christ has spoken.
Ephesians 6:11 / James 4:7 / 1 Peter 5: 8-9
Day 27- Finally we see several situations that were final and hopeless and impossible. The person was dead. But even death is under the authority of Jesus.
Luke 7: 12-16 / John 11: 1-44
Day 28- When Jesus is brought into any situation there is no such thing as impossible, final or hopeless. He is triumphant over all sin, sickness, destruction and death. He is our Savior for the physical, mental, and spiritual traumas of our life.
John 16:33 / 1 Corinthians 15:24 / Revelations 3:21 / 17:14 / Romans 8: 35-37 / 1 John 5:4
Day 29- Our part is to "come to Christ just the way we are, and let Him work.
Isaiah 55:1 / Matthew 11:28 / Revelations 22: 17
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