The Generous Life

It's amazing the way revelation works. Over the years, you can read a particular verse or passage in the Scriptures time and again. You can become so familiar with it that you could literally recite it by memory from beginning to end; and even get so 'comfortable' with its words that you begin to think to yourself, "Yeah, yeah … I know all about that (verse). ; I understand it – nothing more for me to learn there. " Yeah, right.

But then you do read or hear it again, and you see something you never quite saw or thought about before. It could be something really, really deep and profound … or something really, really simple – you know, that "as-plain-as-the-nose-on-your-face" kind of simple and utterly profound; so much so that it leaves you sitting there wondering how you could have missed it all this time. And it alters your thinking and outlook from then on.

Well, I got smacked with the 'really simple and profound' one recently. I just happened to be looking at Matthew 9:18, where Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue, arrived to ask Jesus to come home with him and heal his daughter. Jesus' response to the request was that "arose, and followed [Jairus]" (verse 19). Okay, fine, straightforward … read it a hundred times … yeah, He went with him. Then, a thought flashed through my cerebral cortex: "He [Jesus] always went!" I was then prompted to back up a few verses to get the feel of the setting that they were in. As it turns out, they were right in the middle of dinner, or some meal – the point is, they were eating.

Jesus interrupted His meal, not to just go across the room, but to leave the building and go with this man all the way over to his house – while His lasagna sat there, destined to get cold. (If that does not resonate with you, just think about the times you may have been a little less than 'warm and inviting' when someone needed your help while you were in the middle of throwin 'down at the dinner table. you to consider … because at the moment I'm just as soon not think about my own past actions, thank you very much … but I digress.)

Now, Jairus was a person of considering standing in the community. He was one of the synagogue rulers. And, back in the day, that was a really big deal. This man was not treated like we treat some of our pastors and men of God today. Any, he asked something of Jesus, and Jesus did not say a word; He just got up and went with him.

While they were on the way, some woman had the nerve to come up to Jesus – well, she actually had the nerve to fight her way up to Him. She had enough of things as they were and decided she was not going to be denied what she needed (Mark 5: 25-28). I say that because in her then-present condition (this is, of course, the woman with the issue of blood; and being out in public with an issue of blood made one unclean according to Jewish Law [Leviticus 15:25]), she risked being stoned just for being around other people. In fact, Jairus, the one who time she was absolutely taking up, could have been the one to put her on the program. Neverheless, she got what she went there for; and Jesus did not stop, rebuke or condemn her – in fact, He blessed her! (Mark 5:34) And, Jairus, fortunately (for his daughter), did not say a word – though it's pretty likely he was standing there twiddling him thumbs with a great deal of force while waiting on them to finish up. But, I'm sure he was well aware of the 'irony' that would have been present in his asking for mercy for his own daughter while spitting out judgment upon someone else (Psalm 18: 25-26).

Can you see it what I'm getting at? Jesus was open, willing and generous toward everyone that came to Him, from the ruler of the people all the way down to a despised woman who was an eyelash away from being hit by a bunch of (substantially) large rocks. He never turned anyone down. Whenever someone asked of Him, He always keep them what they had need of. Always! I do not think the word 'No' was in His vocabulary.

Jesus is the perfect picture of God's heart toward us (Hebrews 1: 3). Indeed, 'No' is not in God's vocabulary towards his children – only for matters relating to Satan or the curse or things which simply are not for our good. He's said so: all His promises are 'Yes!' to us through Christ Jesus when we respond to Him by saying, "Amen!" – that is, "I agree; So be it!" (2 Corinthians 1:20). It's also why Jesus said, "Give to [all] those who ask, and do not turn away from those who want to borrow;" because Love gives (Matthew 5:42 NLT ; John 3:16). Such a simple and yet utterly mind mindset. He's telling us to be just like Him, and live the 'generous' life (1 John 4:17) – even when it's right in the middle of your dinner.

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