Day Three Hundred Three, Matt. 8-9, Mark 4-6, Luke 9
Lots of things going on in today's reading: calming the sea, casting out demons, healing from bleeding, raising the dead, opening blind eyes, and loosing mute tongues. Lots of miracles that confirm the authority of Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God.
But at the very beginning of today's material, there is a passage in which Jesus talks with some of His would-be followers about discipleship:
"Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, 'Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.' Jesus replied, 'Foxes has holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.' He said to another man, 'Follow me.' But the man replied, 'Lord, first let me go and bury my father.' Jesus said to him, 'Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.' Still another said, 'I will follow you, Lord, but first let me go back say good-by to my family.' Jesus replied, 'No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.'"
That seems like such a hard teaching, at least for me, but it's an interesting teaching after we looked yesterday at His parables about what the kingdom of God is like. He seems to be stressing even more so the worth of the kingdom of God and the place of priority that it MUST have in the life of anyone who would be His disciple.
Also in the midst of today's reading is a story of a woman who had been suffering from bleeding for many years. Her faith amazes me, because often times we see people beg Jesus to heal them or beg Him to come with them. Indeed, Jesus was on his way with a man named Jairus to heal his daughter when this woman came near Jesus. She pressed against Him in the crowd of people around Him, thinking to herself, "If I just touch His clothes, I will be healed." She had faith enough to believe that if she just touched Him, that would be enough. And He was enough. And because of her faith, she has the privilege of being the only person in Scripture that Jesus ever calls "daughter".