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Eating the Book: Luke 8:40-48

January 28, 2013

40 When Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they had been waiting for him. 41 A man named Jairus, who was a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet. He pleaded with Jesus to come to his house 42 because his only daughter, a twelve-year-old, was dying.

As Jesus moved forward, he faced smothering crowds. 43 A woman was there who had been bleeding for twelve years. She had spent her entire livelihood on doctors, but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the hem of his clothes, and at once her bleeding stopped.

45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.

When everyone denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds are surrounding you and pressing in on you!”

46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me. I know that power has gone out from me.”

47 When the woman saw that she couldn’t escape notice, she came trembling and fell before Jesus. In front of everyone, she explained why she had touched him and how she had been immediately healed.

48 “Daughter, your faith has healed you,” Jesus said. “Go in peace.”

(Common English Bible; emphasis mine)

The phrase that particularly caught my attention this week was “pressing in.” I’m sensing the deep needs in this story. Jesus comes face to face with a community full of needs (Jairus, crowd, an unnamed woman). All are “pressing in” on him. This phrase resonates with my story and experience too. Sometimes I feel the needs of others “pressing in” on me. It can feel good to have people seek your help-you feel needed, necessary. Yet needs like this can also interrupt regular rhythms as well. These feelings need to be recognized, because care and compassion are important elements that do take time, effort and energy. I want to now also especially pay attention to how Jesus found rest and rhythm in order to sustain himself while living in places with the pressure of great needs.

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