Daily Devotion 26 March 2021
Mark 2:17 ‘Who Needs Rescuing?’/
17 Jesus said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.’
Robert and I were out for our daily walk, making for our favourite viewpoint at the top of the Holywell steps. We could hear a helicopter very close and loud, but couldn’t see it, and then suddenly it appeared from behind the trees – so low and close that I almost ducked. In a couple of minutes, by the time we reached our destination, it had vanished from both sight and sound, round the headland, where we hoped its mission of mercy was successful. It prompted me to think that Jesus came on a mission of mercy and that’s what I want to reflect on today.
Jesus’ public ministry lasted just three years – not the longest of times. For three years he did some remarkable things. He turned water into wine. With just five loaves and two fish he fed thousands of people gathered on a grassy hill. He walked on water and calmed a violent storm. He brought the dead back to life. He healed countless people, giving them the ability to see, to walk, to hear, to live without dreaded diseases or mental illness.
Each of Jesus’ miracles that we read about in the gospels is evidence for us of his mercy, healing people of illness and disability, overcoming death. Every miracle shows us Jesus as the Son of God, totally capable of carrying out the mission of mercy for which he came into this world. But none of those miracles compares to the greatest act of mercy, that Jesus travelled to Jerusalem to perform, for the eternal benefit of all people. He didn’t just come to earth to give people the ability to walk, see or hear, he had bigger mercy in mind – the type of mercy that would go on forever. Jesus came on a mission of mercy to save people for eternity – and what mercy it took. He found us spiritually poor, poverty-stricken, unable to be what we need to be if we are to be with God forever in heaven. If we take one good, honest look at ourselves, we have to pray like the taxcollector in the Temple, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner” (Luke 18:13). Jesus is the answer to that prayer for mercy. Jesus left the glory and perfection of heaven for one reason – mercy – to help the helpless.
During this season of Lent, we remember Jesus and his disciples going up to Jerusalem where, as Jesus had repeatedly told them, he was going to be betrayed and handed over to those who wanted to kill him, he would suffer and die. He lived for us, he died for us, he rose from the dead for us. He is everything that we need him to be for us to live in heaven.
Jesus came on a mission of mercy – a mercy that strengthens us to endure the very real, but temporary troubles of this world, a mercy that helps us to trust his blessing through the troubles of this life, a mercy that will one day rescue us forever from every trouble. This is the mission of mercy for which Jesus came to this earth.
We praise and thank you for your loving kindness and great mercy which is new every morning and remains steadfast and sure throughout the day – to strengthen and hold.
Thank you for sending your only begotten Son to suffer and die for us on the cross of Calvary – so that we might be forgiven and live with You eternally in heaven. Amen.
Reflection and Prayer © 2021 Ann Caffyn.
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