My Thoughts. . .

Monday, March 10, 2019

Imagine that you are a trillionaire!  Also, imagine what would happen if you went out in public and people knew you would give everyone a $100 bill.  If you knew someone like that, wouldn’t you make sure you were in the crowd to receive your $100?  Would you attempt to push through the crowd to get it sooner?  Wouldn’t you let the giver know you were close by and ready to receive your free money?  Wouldn’t others attempt to out do you?

Some will remember Elvis Presley.  When we lived in Memphis, one of our church members was a Police Officer.  He was assigned to accompany Elvis and his wife when they went out in public.  No, not in the day time, but late at night.  Elvis would rent an entire movie theater after hours to go and watch a current movie.  The officer would accompany Elvis and Priscilla to make sure no one else came into the theater.  Why so late?  Elvis and his wife would have been flooded with fans wanting an autograph, to touch him, or have him say something personal so they could record it.  Some would even attempt to tear off a button from his clothing, snatch a handkerchief, or pull off his belt.  Any item that belong to him would be a worthwhile souvenir.

Do you remember when Jairus asked the Lord to heal his dying daughter (Mark 5:23)?  According to vs. 21, 24, and 31, Jesus was already in a “great multitude” or “large crowd.”  On the way to Jairus’ house a woman managed to touch Jesus’ robe.  Jesus asked, “Who touched my clothes?” (v.30).  Seeing the crowd, the apostles asked him how that could be known due to the crowd “pushing and jostling” him (v.31).  Jesus was not handing out $100 bills.  He was miraculously healing people.  Restored health is worth a lot more than money.  Jairus’ daughter was dead, but he restored her life.  If your son, daughter, grandchild, husband, wife, brother, sister, mother, father, or grandparents were sick or had just died, would you not fight the crowd to beg Jesus for a miracle?  Who wouldn’t?

Have you ever been at a store that was discounting their merchandise, with several thousand eager patrons trying to get in first to buy the best items?  The store opened its doors at 8 am Monday.  Would you show up Monday at 7:30 a.m. or camp out overnight with hundreds of others so you could be among the lucky few getting in first?  Wouldn’t you have wanted to be as close to the doors as possible when they opened?  Wouldn’t you fight the thousand others to get in as quickly as possible before certain items were depleted?

From the very beginning of his ministry Jesus dealt with crowds.  Once he fed 5,000 and another time 4,000.  If stepping out of your house caused hundreds, if not thousands of people to show up, crowding around you, attempting to get next to you so they could receive their $100 bill, would that pushing, and shoving, along with the uproar going on, not begin to wear on you?  Sometimes Jesus would go off to himself, or with a few apostles to pray (Matthew 14:23; Luke 9:23; 11:1).  The pushing, shoving, cries and pleading, with the noise from hundreds or thousands would soon wear a person down.   After one-episode, Jesus and the apostles dismissed the crowd, got into a boat, and sailed across the Sea of Galilee.  Jesus found a place to lie down and went to sleep (Mark 4:38).  Teaching and healing people can wear a person out, even God’s Son.

Just think, they sent the crowd away but there could have been one more person who needed to be healed.  His suffering could have been relieved.  They sent the crowd away, but there could have been one more lesson Jesus could have taught.  Yes, but there is a time for one thing and time for another (Ecclesiastes 3).  Some preachers neglect their family because they are “doing the Lord’s work.”  When Jesus laid down to sleep rather than continuing to teach and heal, was he “doing the Lord’s work”?  Yes, he was.   Was he doing “the Lord’s work” when he did not stop the woman from anointing his head with precious perfume which could have been sold to help feed and clothe the poor (Matthew 26:9)?  Was the woman doing “the Lord’s work” by pouring it on Jesus’ head rather than selling it to help the poor?  Yes, to both questions.

Getting some “shut-eye” is needed to do the Lord’s work.  Fulfilling one’s responsibility to his family is doing the Lord’s work.  Spending money to support one’s parents is doing the Lord’s work (Mark 7:9-13).  In our zeal, let us not substitute one “Lord’s work” while neglecting another.