When I was younger and got sick with the flu, a cold or a fever, I only wanted two things – lemonade and pear halves. This may not strike you as anything special (or desirable!) but to me those two foods offered great comfort at times when I didn’t feel good. Many people have “comfort foods,” certain meals or dishes that help to fend off the blues or feelings of sickness.
Even when our problems are not physical ailments, but emotional ones, addressing our physical needs can work wonders.
This passage is the end of a much larger story. Jesus has been summoned by a synagogue ruler to offer healing to his daughter. Upon his arrival at the house Jesus is informed that the ruler’s daughter is no longer sick, but deceased.
What does Jesus do? What two things does he instruct?
A few things strike me in this story. First, Jesus is not swayed from his ministry by the comments of others. Even when told that it is too late to do anything Jesus persists with what he will do.
Second, Jesus takes action. His ministry does not involve teaching a lesson by talking. He doesn’t go off into seclusion to pray. He acts. He goes directly to the place where he is needed and raises the girl from the dead.
Finally, Jesus takes care of the girl’s physical needs. Not only does he cure her of illness and raise her from the dead, he has the family feed her. It’s important. The Bible mentions it specifically.
Jesus addressed the needs of a person in his ministry, and in that example we see the type of ministry we need to adopt for ourselves. We need to go to where the problems are and deal with the physical needs of others.
As James pointed out, “faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” Our faith should compel us into some ministry, and that ministry is likely to require our getting involved. If we will show the love of God we will probably need to act in some way, to deal with others, and to lend a hand.
DAILY CHALLENGE: Who needs your help?