Friday, January 05, 2007

Matthew's Fascinating Jesus Stories

Matthew 9-10 is our assigned reading portion. What a fascinating set of stories!

Chapter nine is a collection of six stories, chapter ten is the story and speech of Jesus sending out his twelve disciples.

Some fascinating notes on chapter nine: Jesus refers to himself as a bridegroom, the implication is that all those that believe him to be such are his bride. The metaphor captures the kind of commitment, loyalty, delight, and friendship God seeks to have with humanity. This story is preceded by a story of healing, and one of calling. Imagine a groom gets the news that his soon to be bride has been in a car accident on the way to the church. He charges out through the doors, drives furiously to the accident site to be with his wounded and bleeding beloved. It is with that kind of compassion, intensity, driveness that Jesus heals a paralyzed man, raises a dead girl, heals a bleeding woman, restores sight for two blind men and speech to a mute man.

Jesus has come as a bridegroom for his wounded, hurting, bleeding, broken bride - humanity as the bride was in a violent car crash at the Garden of Eden. We've never recovered, and Jesus has come to both restore our bodies, but also our souls - we crashed as we drove recklessly away from God's Home, and now God has sent his Son to find those that are lost, or as Jesus says, he has come as a doctor for those that are not well. He has come to model and bring mercy.

It is this set of stories that fuels my conviction: Christians should be first in line, clogging the application desks of medical schools. Christians ought to be flooding the market as doctors, nurses, medical staff and healthworkers. Jesus came as a healer, his physical work was the seed for his spiritual work; he came to heal us heart, soul, mind and body so that we could love God and others with a restored heart, soul, mind and body.

Obviously I didn't get in line to be a doctor. But I'm proud of Christians who walk enter the field of healing. We have a bunch of them at Anchor. And I think Anchor ought to be a place of healing. Pastor's can be very effective at creating/leading churches to become a hospital of sorts. Jesus desires mercy, for that is what he came to give. Mercy heals the heart, the soul, the mind, the body. What can you do to make your church a place of mercy healing?

Have you been honest with yourself and God about the kind of mercy healing you need? What about the mercy healing you know others need from you?

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