I was reading this morning in Matthew 14 in my You Version iPhone Bible application. There's nothing like being on the road, and having access to the Bible over a cell phone network, right?
Well, as I worked through the story of John the Baptist, I was taken back by verse 13-14. "Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick."
Can you imagine?
There you are doing ministry, and all of the sudden news comes from your followers that the King just Beheaded your best buddy. They killed the man you would call the "greatest man" that ever walked on planet earth.
The pain Jesus felt must have been enormous.
Then as He retreats for a little time alone to gather His human thoughts and deal with this painful event, crowds want to come and get more teaching, more healing, and more understanding.
I don't know about you, but I probably would have told them to bug off, go find someone else, I'm going to need a little retreat.
But not Jesus.
He graciously reached down and started healing the sick in His own hour of pain.
It reminds me of Caleb Chapman, one of our fine upstanding students out at K-Colorado. Caleb, lost his little sister this year in a tragic car accident. (some of you might have remembered the media blitz on the Steven Curtis Chapman family this last spring.) We went to the family's wake for little Maria Sue Chapman, and the people were lined up outside the church for hours.
I looked over at Jamie Jo and said, "Oh My! I know these people want to show their love and compassion, but is this the right time to be doing this?" It had only been a day since little Maria died in the driveway.
At the funeral the next day Caleb Chapman (17 years old) filled with sorrow and loss of his little sister, stood at the podium and began one of the most gracious sermons I think I've ever heard.
His love for his family, and understanding for healing were so good. He encouraged his siblings, looked at the universe through God's eyes, and led the packed mega church attendees on a long road of reconciliation with life and death.
And all while he was hurting Himself.
I want to be more like Jesus.
I want to be able to find the strength and courage to share the pain of life's woes, and reach out to those that need healing, and attempt to give a helping hand.
I want to be more like Caleb Chapman. A young man that can stand in the face of disaster and still see the need for many to be healed is a hero in my book.
May we deal with pain.
May we understand the paradox of discovering healing through the unity of believers.
May we have the courage to reach into our hearts to rest in the arms of those who wish to give comfort, and dwell with those who need our guidance.
May we follow Jesus.