Fresh Hope – 23rd November 2019

How do you respond to Jesus?

In a short section of Mark’s Gospel, there are a series of well-known events in which we see a range of responses from those who had contact with Jesus.

Jesus calms the storm (Mark 4:41) ‘They were terrified and asked each other, “who is this? Even the wind and waves obey him!”’

Jesus then sends the ‘legion’ of demons into the herd of pigs (Mark 5:18) ‘Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region’, but in hearing the cured man’s testimony ‘all the people were amazed’.

Jesus then heals the woman who had been subject to bleeding (Mark 5: 33) ‘Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth.’

We move swiftly to the raising from the dead of the daughter of Jairus (Mark 5:39) ‘Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep. But they laughed at him’. However, when she was raised from the dead (Mark 6:42) ‘At this, they were completely astonished’.

From here Jesus returns to his home town and preaches in the synagogue (Mark 6:3) ‘And they took offence at him’.

Clearly when confronted with the wisdom, power and authority of God in the human shape of Jesus, people who had the benefit of actually meeting him face to face had a range of responses from laughter and ridicule; astonishment and awe; hiding from the truth to fear; and those that took offence.

It seems that things have not really changed that much, I am sure we all meet those same responses as we carry God’s message and Jesus inside us into our daily lives. Jesus actually tells us that this will be the case. In Matthew chapter 10 he sends out the Disciples and tells them what they will face and that not all who they speak to will hear and accept the message of the Gospel.

We can’t change other people’s reactions – all we can do is faithfully witness to what we have seen and heard. The rest is in God’s hands. The one thing we can control is ourselves, so the question to ponder is how do I respond to Jesus?

Richard Ashmore

A daily devotion for a better way of living.