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Pleading for Mercy

Mark 5:21-24a
When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered round him while he was by the lake. Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there. Seeing Jesus, he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, "My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live." So Jesus went with him.

After the episode with the demonised man, when the man, the demons and the towns-people all pleaded with Jesus (Mark 5:7,9,12,17,18),  Mark now presents another example of 'pleading'.  This time, it is a sincere cry for help.  No sooner had Jesus arrived back on the north west shore of Lake Galilee, than crowds engulfed Him.  Despite the disapproval by religious leaders (Mark 3:22), the local synagogue leader pushed his way through the throng and threw himself at Jesus' feet.  

Jairus pleaded with Jesus because his little girl was seriously ill.  He knew that without miraculous intervention death was inevitable.  Ignoring official censure from his superiors, Jairus trusted Jesus to heal her.  He was not ashamed or embarrassed to declare his faith and plead for her life in front of the growing crowd.  Inviting Jesus back to his house, he immediately led the Lord towards his daughter.

As He went, Jesus affirmed His compassion by moving through the crowd, following the anxious cleric.  However much he was worried, he had real faith that Jesus could heal.  Indeed, that only Jesus could change the outcome.  Whatever his religious scruples, Jairus had enough evidence to believe in Jesus, and to risk his reputation in this very public appeal for life-saving assistance. "If it matters that much", somebody once said, "you have nothing to lose by being public about it".  By contrast, secrecy betrays shame and fear.  It is a mark of godly wisdom to run straight to Jesus (Matthew 11:28), irrespective of whatever religion you have known (Acts 6:7).  Power to change the inevitable is only in the hand of God who operates in dynamic relationship with people who trust Him, not by a pious formula.

Why are we so reluctant, today, to encourage a direct approach to Jesus Christ?  He is the only one with power to heal the outside and clean the inside.  It is not magical incantations or mystical rites we need, but a masterful Saviour.  If your heart is full of compassion ask people if you can pray for them in their difficulty.  It is a simple step but leads people to understand that God cares, hears and has the power to act.  And every real Christian can do it if they are trusting the Lord!  So, why not you?  Today?

Prayer 
Dear Heavenly Father. I know enough of Your loving care to continue to commit myself to You. Forgive me for being so reticent to involve You in the troubled lives of my friends and colleagues. Give me the desire to be more public about what I know You can do for others - not just to fix their problems but to save their souls. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams

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