This week lets look at a story where Jesus bent the rules a little bit.
Somewhere in the middle portion of His ministry Jesus sends His disciples out by twos. When they returned Jesus knew that they would need to rest. This is a principal that is too often ignored by God's servants. You get busy doing those things that the Lord has given you to do and don't stop every once in a while to catch your breath and take your bearings. It makes it easy to get off course because in your desire to serve you keep going north when the Lord is trying to tell you to change directions and go south.
Lets look at a couple of verses to illustrate that it was difficult even for Jesus to get rest. Mark 6: 30-34 And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught. And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. And they departed into a desert place by ship privately. And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him. And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things. Here we see that Jesus, even though His intention was to find rest, could not ignore the need of the people. For those who are called and chosen it is the same, perhaps the reason they are chosen, though if you study what is said about the disciples in scripture it appears some of them grew into it, which gives hope to us all, especially me.
One of the two stories of the loaves and fishes follows and then Jesus gives the apostles a head start back across the sea of Galilee and stays behind to send the crowds away. As you probably know, the disciples get in trouble crossing the lake when a storm comes up and Jesus comes to them walking on the water. Remember that Jesus' intention is to get some rest for Himself and His disciples but read what happens when they reach the other side. Mark 6:53-56 And when they had passed over, they came into the land of Gennesaret, and drew to the shore. And when they were come out of the ship, straightway they knew him, And ran through that whole region round about, and began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard he was. And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole. Not a moments rest because as was said above they were like sheep without a shepherd, and knew a shepherd when they saw one.
Next the Pharisees came and questioned Him about the disciples and their traditions which they had the same or even more respect for than the word. Glad that doesn't happen anymore, well how about i wish that didn't happen anymore. Any way Jesus decides that the only way they are going to find some piece and quiet is to leave the country, so they go to the area of Tyre and Sidon, Mark 7: 24-30 And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but he could not be hid. For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet: The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter. But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs. And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter. And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.
This encounter is the inspiration for this weeks study, you see Jesus came to this lady's land trying to get some rest for Himself and His disciples. He could see that in Israel He was too well known to find a place to rest. Everywhere He went there were people who had great need and knew that if they could get to Jesus, He would have the answer to their need. There have been many sermons preached about the exchange between the woman and Jesus so i wont spend too much time on it except to point out that Jesus wasn't prejudice against her or other races of people. He had a mission to the Hebrews first and even said to her "Let the children first be filled" which is not a no but a wait. This woman however wouldn't take no, or wait, for an answer and with her persistence convinced Jesus to help her.
Perhaps she had heard Jesus tell the parable in Luke 11: 5-13 And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
We will never know how till we see her in heaven but she knew Him from somewhere and she didn't give up, remember that they were in somebody's house trying to stay hidden. Either she had seen them or was told they were there and knew enough about Him to know that He could help. It was not part of His plan to hold a healing and deliverance service, He was there to get some rest. Maybe you are asking the Lord for something that doesn't seem to be part of His plan. Before you get the wrong idea, i'm not talking about a new Lexus or a winning lottery ticket, in fact i would suggest that if you are praying for these things while the world is going increasingly crazy around us, you need to grow up a bit. Maybe you have been praying for a family member or friend, or a situation that seems hopeless.
For me the hopeless situation is the condition of my country (USA) which in the world's eyes could hardly be better but in God's eyes is rich in things that won't last and getting poorer by the day in things that will. While i am concerned the Father reminds me from time to time that i am not an American Christian, i am a Christian ambassador to America until He says different, and i am knocking on that door and waiting for the bread. Won't you join me
Until next week the Father bless and keep you and cause His face to shine upon you and give you peace, and bread !