Stopping where Jesus stops
In the 1970s, experts posited that we were exposed to 500 to 1,600 advertisements a day. Now the numbers are more like 6,000 to 10,000. And that’s just ads—it doesn’t count the texts, emails, phone calls, and shows we watch.
We are flooded with information in the modern world, and all this at the click of a mouse or touch of a screen. We can experience more entertainment in a few hours than most ancient people encountered over a lifetime.
All of this comes at us so quickly that we ignore much more than we take in and we’ve forgotten how to slow down. And sometimes we need to slow down; sometimes we need to stop and pay attention to a moment.
Throughout His ministry, Jesus showed an amazing ability to stop everything when the moment was right.
A prime example is found in Mark 5.
For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” Mark 5:28-30 (ESV)
In the heat of a desperate crowd, Jesus stops everything to notice someone that no one else saw. This woman was not only chronically ill, but she was also socially and culturally outcast, and yet Jesus stops everything to address her, to call her “daughter”, and to graciously restore her to health.
In other stories, during a hot day in Samaria, he sits by a well to talk with a lonely, rejected woman and has one of the most amazing discussions of revelation in all of scripture. In the bustle and scurry of the temple he pauses to watch a widow give pennies. He took a timeout from the crowd of seekers to acknowledge and play with children.
Jesus knew when and how to stop: especially for those who were in the margins and easily ignored—those who no one else stopped for. He shut down everything to share these concentrated, one-on-one conversations.
Do we know how to stop everything like this? Are we in touch enough with Jesus to know when he is calling us to stop?
Think of the elderly person who hasn’t had a complete conversation in weeks. Or the difficult teenager who needs you to explain things yet again. Or your spouse who needs you to share a conversation at the end of a busy day.
This is often where Jesus calls us. Not to just do more stuff, but to stop everything and spend time with someone who needs our time. Are we paying attention? Are we willing to stop? May God help us be aware of those times when we need to stop so we can participate in what he is doing.
Presented by Greg Williams
About the presenter:
Word of Life each Sunday is taken from ‘Speaking of Life’, (https://www.gci.org/videos/media-speaking-of-life/), a public resource video on the USA website of Grace Communion International. Greg Williams is President of Grace Communion International and lives in North Carolina, USA.
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