I’ve felt really challenged recently about a story in the bible which can be found here.
Basically in Matthew 14 we read that one of the guys who followed Jesus had been killed. His name was John and he was arguably not just a disciple or follower of Jesus but maybe a good friend too.
Anyway Jesus does what most people would do in this situation – he retreats, he wants to be alone so that he can greave his friends death. So he and the other disciples get into a boat to be alone, only people start to gather on the other side of the lake where Jesus is heading because they want to hear him speak.
These are people in need, many are sick and as the boat gets to the other side it says in verse 14 Jesus had compassion on them.
Now what would I have done? I’m hurting, I need to be alone and I’m faced with a crowd of needy people, all wanting my time and my energy. I would probably have sent them all away and told them to come back another day. But Jesus – seeing their need had compassion on them and healed the sick.
It’s not something that we are used to in this culture is it? Putting aside our own needs for the sake of another. Serving others no matter what the cost to us is. Much of the time this culture would say “get what you can” “what’s in it for me” “if I do this what do I get”. But Jesus is demonstrating a different way – serve each other no matter what it costs you.
Now I don’t think Jesus is saying, be taken advantage of, or even when you are sick get up and serve those who need you – we all need times when we need to rest but it’s about how we approach life, it’s an attitude thing. Are we going to live for ourselves or for the sake of another?
Some studies were done looking at those who help others and they found that those that regularly volunteer their time to help someone in need tended to be healthy and lived longer.
I guess that it shouldn’t be a surprise because, as Jesus was showing us and teaching us that’s just the way we are meant to live. We are all meant to live in a way that helps another person or serves those in need.
A phrase that is sometimes used to disprove God would be “if God is real then how come so many people are suffering, so many people are poor or hurting or sick” “why doesn’t he do something about it”
What if he has done something about it? What if we are what he has done about it? What if God is asking us the same question? How is it that you lived at the same time as so many people are suffering, so many people are in need or hurting and you aren’t doing anything?
It’s very challenging but also I think it’s very exciting and such an opportunity.