Daily through this week I’ve been reading a gospel snapshot of Jesus.
I like to do this sometimes as I find I notice particular aspects more clearly than if I plough on through chapter after chapter.

This time it was simple, Jesus is all about relationship.
He was always with someone, if he wasn’t walking somewhere with his friends, he was in a home healing a family member, if he wasn’t doing that, then he was teaching in a meeting place, or freeing the demonised.

It is stating the obvious, but encountering Jesus makes a difference.

Anyone of these people could have heard of him, and possibly had, but it’s not until they met him for themselves that their lives were impacted. This brief interaction made all the difference for some, less so for others.
Maybe Simon’s mother-in-law didn’t feel her whole life had been impacted, I’ve no doubt she was grateful for getting over the fever more quickly than was normal, but imagine those who had lived long years being tormented and distressed by demonic spirits. How free must they have felt after the intensity of gloom, accusation, compulsion, and the looming threat of death was lifted from them? How they must have loved him.

Just a day in the life of Jesus.

No one can spend time with Jesus and remain untouched. Even those who find they aren’t willing to go along with him are changed, sadly, probably not for the better, just ask Judas, Pilate, or the rich man who wouldn’t make the changes Jesus said were necessary for him to inherit eternal life.
Each of them was more firmly convinced their own way was right.

I want to make a difference to those I come across.

Last time I looked, I classed myself as a disciple, and I’m sure if asked, you would describe yourself in a similar way. We are called to be like Jesus, he was most definitely an influencer of those around him, we want that too, don’t we?
I think we have more to experience if we want to have the sort of impact we could be happy with.
This develops out of being with Jesus, spending time with him, hearing what he has planned for particular people or situations and then going and doing what he has said in the power of the Spirit as we carry his presence with us.

I know when I soak in his presence I hear him tell me things which I would miss if I was in a rush. It’s not about not being busy, it’s about using the time I have in ways which bear the most fruit, knowing it will make a real difference. It’s not a religious tick box, but genuine interaction, I encounter Jesus and I am changed.

So, what was it I read this week? Here you are, perhaps you’d like to try some slow reading and see for yourself how it speaks to you.

Directly on leaving the meeting place, they came to Simon and Andrew’s house, accompanied by James and John. Simon’s mother-in-law was sick in bed, burning up with fever. They told Jesus. He went to her, took her hand, and raised her up. No sooner had the fever left than she was up fixing dinner for them.

That evening, after the sun was down, they brought sick and evil-afflicted people to him, the whole city lined up at his door! He cured their sick bodies and tormented spirits. Because the demons knew his true identity, he didn’t let them say a word.

While it was still night, way before dawn, he got up and went out to a secluded spot and prayed. Simon and those with him went looking for him. They found him and said, “Everybody’s looking for you.”

Jesus said, “Let’s go to the rest of the villages so I can preach there also. This is why I’ve come.” He went to their meeting places all through Galilee, preaching and throwing out the demons.

Mark 1:29-39 The Message


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