I have been hanging out in Mark the past couple days, and it is sweeeeeet. There have been multiple times as I'm reading it that I'll find myself with my jaw dropped or mind blown or writing frantically, or all of the above. Usually all of the above. There have been a few things about it especially that I just cannot get over.
Christ came to heal the broken, and He did it by being with them. Definitely a motif for the book is, "He took him/her by the hand..." I went through and underlined, and 10 times throughout the book Jesus heals people by taking them by the hand, or laying his hands on them, or (my favorite) "taking them in His arms." Not only does Jesus go and hang out with the sinners, tax collectors, diseased, disabled, and even DEAD people, but He loves them and reaches out to them physically to show His love and bring healing. I think that is so great. And now, just like He did then, regardless of how messed up or sinful or sick or broken we are, Jesus continually takes us by the hand and loves us. DON'T YOU JUST LOVE HIM? I mean, you can't really get better than that!
One of my favorite instances in which He does this is in chapter 5. Jairus, one of the rulers of the synagogue, had come to Jesus to beg him to save the life of his sick little girl. As Jesus headed there, a woman in the crowd who had been bleeding for 12 years reached out in faith to touch the hem of His robes, knowing that even that little contact with Him would heal her. It did. Feeling the power go out of Him, Jesus stopped to find out who had touched His garments and then bless her for her faith.
Meanwhile, Jairus's daughter had died, and a guy came to tell Jesus not to bother coming to heal her, but Jesus went anyway. Amidst the wailing and sorrow of her parents and mockery from people who thought he was crazy, "taking her by the hand He said to her, 'Talitha cumi,' which means, 'Little girl, I say to you, arise.'" And then she just DID.
I read that passage and knew that God was speaking those same words to me. It was actually a pretty eerie moment. How many times have I heard Him say, "Little girl, I say to you, arise"? I can't count the times! What is the point of living my life aside from the fact that Jesus has taken me by the hand and healed me, raised me up, so that I can truly LIVE? This is the kind of thing that makes me want to yell loudly! It is just so full of good.
There are so many other great things I've taken away from Mark, so this definitely isn't the end of my marveling and you probably will hear more about this in the future. But just think about that. Jesus isn't afraid to take us by the hand or into His arms, no matter how gross, messy, blind, broken, or dead we may be. He lavishes us with personal love on the regular.
Goodness me! I love it!