When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged Jesus to come to Capernaum to heal his son, who was about to die – John 4: 47
We’ve been overseas for the past weeks. As we wandered around England, we saw opportunities for the Gospel everywhere. The world is broken. Seemingly ordinary people are suffering; financial stress, relationship distress, disease, addiction, hurt, pain, sickness. Nobody escapes. The motivation to write nobrokenreed, is to encourage new believers and wonderers to find out who Jesus really is, and to push all of us over the edge to tell others of him.
The one thing that we find is that everywhere, people are looking for answers and meaning.
The most beautiful thing of God, is that he came to heal the brokenness. While it is true that one day he will make it all right once again forever, such a statement can appear trite to those who need his love today.
The overwhelming characteristic of Jesus Christ, is his deep compassion for people in the here and now. He engaged with people who were sick and sinful, and cared deeply for them. No matter how much of it was ‘their fault’ he simply embraced them. They were never left unchanged, because God loved them in a personal way. In John’s Gospel, you see this very clearly. The Samaritan woman was a despised person, living an illicit life and the impression is that she had all but given up on life. Who cared about her, other than to use her for sex and comfort?
Yet Jesus’ response is never to blame or discard, but to reach out to heal and to offer life. Such was his response, that people begged him to come to them. Immediately after the Samaritan woman, Jesus heals the boy of a government official. If he was Jewish, he would belong to a group of people who would ultimately execute Jesus, and if he was Roman, he had a nerve to expect the conquered Jews to provide him with anything other than contempt. Christ’s response maybe exasperated, but he still reaches out.
So, to you today. The distressed, the hurting, those reading this numb with pain, what will you beg of him? Will we firstly condescend to come to him with our tears and our tattered lives, admitting our brokenness. It is always the first step. Are we able then to sit in his presence, and accept that he, not us can fix our brokenness; are we able to let go of our need to control everything and allow Jesus to do what he alone can do?
Will we just accept that God loves us, and cares for all of us deeply. For those privileged to have a special relationship with him through Christ Jesus, we can walk in that every day; if you don’t feel that’s you today, then you must know that still God reaches out to you to come to him. Who you are, what you are carrying, the burden you bear – his longing is that you will come to the only one who can do anything about it, him.
Many have uncertainty about the love of God, but his love for us is not based on our feelings or uncertainties, his love for us is based on his unchanging character, the one true God. Such a God, sent his son Jesus Christ to reveal to men exactly how he does respond to us on a daily basis; with compassion, open arms and willingness to forgive, to heal to renew, to restore, and to love for all eternity.
Jesus’ response to the official was “go back home, your son will live”, the same life that he offered the Samaritan woman, the same that he offers to me and you.
So today, let us put time aside to sit at his feet and accept who he is; allow him to embrace us with his love, let him care for us as the one true God.