Jesus’ business was intentional and missional. We often find Him in the midst of the crowds. Surrounded by people. Pulled. Needed. Called. Asked. Begged. He was living life in full. Going places to make a difference for the kingdom.
And yet, it was Christ’s very missional business that brought forth gospel opportunities, healings, and teachings of good news. Jesus never missed one opportunity even when, well, crazy busy.
Take for instance the nameless woman in Matthew 9. Her physical condition plagued her for over a decade. She was “dirty”, “unclean”…and bore her feminine issues in the quiet of her tumultuous heart. She was an outcast in her religious system. But look at her here! She brazenly mingles into the crowd. Heart full of faith and hope. She must have banked on the fact that perhaps the anonymity of the crowds would drown out her faith-filled and anticipated touch of Jesus’ coat. If only no one would notice and she’d be healed. If only there would be one touch and her bleeding would stop. No more bleeding. Healed. Restored in the community. With hopes for a family and a new life. What else does she have to lose at this point?
So she goes where she knows she’d find Jesus: among the crowds, crazy busy, and at work. The hope of all mankind pacing the streets of the Middle East to draw people out and unto Himself. He placed Himself strategically in the midst of the crowds to be found. To be called upon. To be seen and heard. To be followed.
One touch. Just one. And the Maker of her body stops, turns, and speaks to her. Overcrowded and with a busy agenda, in the middle of a different mission, with people pulling and calling and desiring more of Him, Jesus stops. He turns. He hears and feels the gentle touch of a desperate and faithful woman. The whole gregarious universe silenced to hear the faint whisper of a bleeding reed.
Jesus heals her and utters perhaps the most powerful words this woman certainly must have heard a Middle Eastern man speak to her: “Be encouraged, dear woman ...”
Be encouraged. Dear woman.
I am here to make old things new. I am here to redeem and restore. I am here to heal the sick and bind the wounded. I am here for you, too. Your blood has kept you dirty, alienated and in suffering. My blood on the cross will clean you, bring you into My family, and bind your heartaches with eternal redemption. Your faith has made you well.
Be encouraged. Dear woman.
A statement of the Man who sees women equally valuable, precious, and made in the image of God. The Man God who handcrafted the rib into the best helper there was in Eden. The One who took shelter in the womb of a teen virgin, helpless and humble. The same One who crafted the woman’s wonderful body and its pleasures. This Man-God singles her out with words of transformation and encouragement. Be encouraged thus.
Where has your busy life taken you lately? Have you been able to get yourself out there, so busy that in the midst of it you see hurting people and crowds created in God’s image? And I don’t mean busy for business sake. I mean busy for the kingdom advancing purposes sake.
Has your business brought opportunities to meet needs of the outcast, hurt, and needy? What crowds do you immerse yourself into for the sake of the gospel and active service?
How will you use your business for Jesus today?
May we increase in business for Christ. May our business increase in missional, intentional, and gospel-centered daily living. May we see the hurt and needy at school, at work, at the ballpark, at the store. In our homes. In our neighborhoods. In our family. In our church. In our country.
May we, Christians, place ourselves at the heart of diverse crowds and mark our agendas with intentional, hard working daily living. And may we redeem the time with missional wisdom among our very crowds because Christ has risen indeed!