And when they were gone over, they came into the land of Gennesaret. And when the men of that place had knowledge of him, they sent out into all that country round about, and brought unto him all that were diseased; And besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole.Matthew 14:34-36
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.Mark 6:53-56
What do we expect from Jesus? Other than the few scenes where Jesus went to those He raised from the dead, it is interesting to see that most people went (or were brought) to Jesus for help. And yet so many today say, “I’m waiting for God to work in my life.”
Here’s the thing…He already is!
Born again children of God have already had a work of God in their lives. The fact that they desire to see God work in them is evidence that He already has. Further, this means that they are no longer dead in sin. Sin does not have a death grip on them. They are able to come to Christ for help in their time of need.
In the gospel record, when people are hurting, do we see them just waiting for Jesus to show up or are they and their loved ones making efforts to get closer to Jesus? It is clear that many times people go to great effort to find Jesus and get close to Him for help.
And so it should be with us today!
Too many times I see people refusing to go to church until God helps them or motivates them to do so. This is wrong. Jesus has already given life in the new birth. The ability is there and the command to come to Jesus is there. The biggest problem is that the one place where Jesus has guaranteed to meet us is the one place people refuse to go – church.
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.James 4:8-10
James teaches us that the relief and peace that we are looking for will only come after we come humbly to Christ. God is willing to help but we must understand that He acts on His own terms, in His own time, and by His own power and authority.
Moreover, if we see others hurting, do we do things to help and encourage them to come to Christ for help? The multitude of examples we have in the Bible show us that people went to great lengths to get people to Jesus for help. Shouldn’t we do the same?
Let us not be like the Pharisees who didn’t do their job in caring for God’s people.
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!Luke 13:34
Can Jesus help them without us? Yes, but is that how he intended his church to act?
Consider the words to the old hymn “Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy” by Joseph Hart:
“If you tarry till you’re better, you will never come at all.”
Let us rather join the refrain:
I will arise and go to Jesus; He will embrace me in His arms! In the arms of my dear Savior, Oh, there are ten thousand charms!