Jul 11 2013
“Do you have any gold crosses?” asked Janet. “Let me see” mumbled the shopkeeper as he peered down into his showcase through spectacles, “Hmm … would you like a plain one, or one with a little man on it?” Janet looked up horrified, “Little man? How could he call Jesus a little man?”
People who have faith in Jesus see him quite differently from those who don’t. They see him as God’s provision for humanity’s healing, wholeness, and salvation, while others see him as just another religious man.
On one occasion a woman who had suffered from continual bleeding for 12 years pushed her way through a crowd to get to Jesus (Mark 5:25-34). She thought “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Like Janet she did not see Jesus as a little man, she saw him as God’s provision for world salvation. And as she reached out and touched the edge of Jesus’ cloak with eyes of faith, God saw her in the crowd and responded with healing power.
♦ The account of this woman is found sandwiched within the story of Jairus (21-24, 35-43) a synagogue ruler whose daughter was dying. He also saw Jesus as God’s provision and asked him, “Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed.” And Jesus agreed and went with him. But by the time he got to Jairus’ house she was dead and the traditional mourners were in full cry. But Jesus said to everyone “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” Death is a temporary condition to God, just like sleep is to us. But this surprising comment was met with two opposite reactions. The mourners stopped crying and started laughing – which is more likely with traditional mourning than real mourning. And the parents who were the real mourners were filled with hope – they suddenly saw there was a chance. In other words, the statement “The child is not dead but asleep” separated those who saw Jesus as ‘a little man’ from those who saw him as God’s provision. And Jesus quickly put the mocking ‘mourners’ outside and kept those with hope and faith in the house with him. And the believers saw the girl being raised from the dead while the mockers were left to wonder if she had been asleep all along.
But there was more scepticism to come. Straight after this incident Jesus preached in his hometown synagogue in Nazareth (6:1-6). Those who knew him from his childhood didn’t like the fact that he was now preaching and doing miracles. They had never seen him do such things before and said “Isn’t this the carpenter (i.e. the guy who made our tables)? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” Like the mockers at Jairus’ house they saw Jesus as just ‘a little man’, and so they also missed out. Scripture says Jesus “could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.” This means only a few would receive his touch, the rest wanted nothing to do with him. “And he was amazed at their lack of faith.”
Eyes of faith are important aren’t they? We must see Jesus as God sees him. If we think he is just a good teacher, or just a holy prophet, we don’t see God’s provision for the human race, and then we don’t respond to Jesus with life-receiving faith. The man on the cross isn’t ‘little’; he is All-Knowing and All-Powerful. Or to put it another way; HE IS (Yahweh).
Other Illustrations used: An Eye for Toyotas| The Tiwi Leap of Faith.
Closing Song: Our God – ‘Water You turned into wine, Opened the eyes of the blind – There’s no one like You’
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