True Mercy’s Wideness
Creator God, Maker of the galaxies and the human heart, Your care covers heaven and earth. I bow in worship before You.
Read Luke 8:40-56
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“In Jesus, we discover a Lord who not only helps but heals; who is not only sensitive to our cares, but enlists us in caring enough to serve” (Lloyd John Ogilvie).
One day in 2010, Angus Buchan, South Africa’s Billy Graham, spoke to more than 90,000 men of all races and walks of life. They were drawn to the gathering because of the depth of need in South Africa for forgiveness, healing, justice and hope. Similar scenes unfold on Luke’s wide canvas, depicting the growing national impact and political ramifications of Jesus’ offer of salvation. Immediately as Jesus checked in from trans-Galilee he was cheered by waiting crowds. He was hard pressed to keep to his itinerary (40, 42b, 45b). Luke narrates an event that makes transparent a whole range of emotions, expressed by characters from diametrically opposite stations of Galilean life—a community pastor, Peter the fisherman, an outcast, a family messenger, mourners, a mother and a little girl. Make time now to put yourself into the robes and mindsets of each character Jesus meets. Vicariously enter each one’s words or thoughts. Name their emotions. Feel the different kinds of rapport that Jesus has with each one.
Twelve years of memories dancing through a father and mother’s bitter grief, and twelve years of cul-de-sacs in a woman’s death-defying struggle to live, burst into public expression as two people from opposite castes in rural Galilee throw themselves at Jesus’ feet (41,47). Jairus, whose name means “he will give light,” receives more than he can comprehend (56). A woman whose medical condition has stolen her dignity, family, marriage eligibility, and any future security, is released from her humiliating isolation, without having to comply with any further Levitical obligations (48; Lev. 15:19-30). Jesus’ fatherly love expressed in familial tenderness (48), spiritual mentorship (50), practical concern (55) and boundary-setting sternness (56; see also v. 52) mirrors the fatherhood of Israel’s God.
Recall words and melodies that make up your heart’s musical love language. Then, use them to worship God now. Sing or pray your worship.
Lord Jesus, I’m challenged and humbled by Your ministry. May Your Spirit be released in me so that I can serve others in a way that honors You.
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