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Desperate People

That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons.

Mark 1:32
Desperate People Book Cover

desperate people

People in the city of Capernaum heard about Jesus’s recent miracles and yearned for healing themselves. Not wanting to violate custom, they waited until the end of Sabbath to approach him. This special day lasted from sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday, and Sabbath regulations prohibited any work. This included carrying a sick person from place to place, even to receive healing. Aid was only permitted when a person’s life was at immediate risk.

As the sun set, the people in Capernaum could wait no longer. They didn’t let Jesus get a good night’s sleep. They wanted immediate healing no matter how dark the sky. The oppressive nature of sickness, disease, and demonic forces created desperation that could only be calmed by Jesus.

the healing power of jesus

Some were oppressed by demons, and with a simple word Jesus cast out these spirits (Matthew 8:16). Others were sick until Jesus healed them by laying his hands on them (Luke 4:40). The various diseases are not mentioned by name, but other portions of the Gospels describe Jesus healing a large variety of maladies. In Mark alone, Jesus heals individuals from fever, leprosy, paralysis, hemorrhage, deafness, and blindness. But regardless of the specific type of sickness or disease, Jesus made himself available day or night to minister to those who sought him out, and in this particular instance, likely served them late into the night.

Realizing the value of immediacy, Jesus cared about and for each and every one of their physical needs. What would it matter if a blind man spent one more day without seeing? Or if a lame man sat on a mat a little longer? Surely, Jesus could have asked them to come back the next day, but instead he went out of his way to show them that their physical needs mattered.

Since the first taste of forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, we’ve lived separated from our creator in a broken world. Sin leaves nothing but destruction in its wake. As a result, we all have wounds that need bandaging. Jesus demonstrates his compassion by meeting us right where we are, day or night. He cares about our needs no matter how big or small. He is with us as we sit beside the hospital bed of a loved one. He is with us when we go to sleep at night racked with guilt over having lost our temper with our toddlers. He is there to encourage us when our student loans pile up, or when depression torments our souls.

But He doesn’t stop with our temporary needs. Jesus’ compassion leads us to a greater realization—we need eternal restoration with God. If all God did was bandage our wounds, we’d experience a bit of his love, but we’d still live separated from him in a world without peace. We need a long-term solution to the sin that enslaves us. Only Jesus can bring us healing and restoration.

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Daily Question

Under what circumstances have you avoided approaching Jesus for fear your need was too small for his attention? How does knowing we can come to Jesus at any time⁠—day or night⁠—encourage you?

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Comments (7)

I used to be hesitate to take ALL my concerns to Him. I still feel a little silly taking some of my "smallest" concerns to Him – such as about getting my cat back into the house – but I take it to him anyway because He says in Psalm 55:22 "Cast all your concerns on the Lord because He cares for you; He will never let the righteous be shaken."

It’s great to know that no matter what time – day OR night – I need Him, He is _always_ available to me. I’ve had to reach out to Him for help or simply praise Him even in the middle of the night.

When I was a young Christian, I avoided approaching Jesus about the salvation of my immediate family. Now, I know His timing prevails. I must be patient and persistent in prayer for all things – but also remember to be persistent!
It’s easy to forget we have the privilege of coming to Jesus. As we were reminded this past weekend in the sermon, Satan likes to rock the cradle of comfort – distracting us – keeping us from diving deeper with Jesus so that He can change us from the inside out.

I get so busy I forget to ask. Then things pile up and start feeling the burden and that’s when I realize… whoops I need to ask God for wisdom and to take these burdens off of me.

We should all know that Christ will always be there for us. We should know that we should be able to trust Christ to provide all of our needs. We should know that we can cast all of our cares upon him, for he careth for you.

I’ve always known I could approach Jesus at any time. However, sometimes I feel as though he hears from me the same prayers over & over that I should just wait a few days & ask Jesus again. I know He hears me & knows my needs but does he ever say “Here she goes again, I’ve got this!” I feel as though Jesus wants us to ask him for healing & concerns even though he already knows up front what we need.

I sometimes misplace items and will continue to search to no avail. I have learned to pray and ask God to bring it back to my remembrance. Suddenly I remember where I placed the item. Nothing is too small for God

Throughout my day I will make small prayers to God about fearful things I have coming up. Even if God doesn’t answer my prayer how I wanted Him to, my small prayer also reminds me that it will be okay whatever the outcome. In the small times, I can choose to be a grateful, cheery, compassionate, etc. even when my prayers aren’t answered, or aren’t answered how I would like. If for some reason the same thing becomes a bigger issue, I know I can repeat the cycle again, and pray for what I would want to happen in that instance.

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