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Desperate Times

Briefing: In our line of work, we meet hundreds, if not thousands of people. Unfortunately, our introduction into their life is due to a crisis. They are often desperate for a solution or we (LEOs) would not be involved.

Dispatch (Assignment): How desperate are you for Christ? Read Matthew 9:18-34.

On the Street: In this series of accounts, Jesus is coming into contact with people who are in crisis. These individuals are expecting Jesus to do the impossible. They are desperate for a miracle.

The first crisis involves a leader from the local synagogue. His daughter has just died. I have a daughter who is not much older than his daughter. I can’t imagine how desperate I would have been in this situation.

While on His way to the synagogue leader’s home, Jesus is approached by a woman who has been ill for twelve years. Her life has been ruined by her condition. Not only did she suffer physical pain but mental and emotional pain as well. According to Jewish law (Leviticus 15:25), she was unclean for the entire twelve years which meant that she could not socialize with anyone or go to worship at the synagogue because of her uncleanliness. She would have been a social outcast.

According to Jewish law, both of these encounters would have made Jesus “unclean”. The religious leaders were more concerned with keeping the letter of the law than the compassion they should have had for each other. This is called legalism. Jesus spoke of this in verse thirteen when He says, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice”. Jesus’ compassion for people was apparent. He was showing us what was really important.

Next, He encounters two blind men and a demon-possessed man. These were people who could not be helped by anyone other than Jesus Christ. The same is true today; we have problems that no one else can help us with except Jesus.

Highlights from this Read: I wonder if it was coincidence that the synagogue leader’s daughter was twelve and the lady who touched Jesus’ cloak had been bleeding for twelve years.

The father of the twelve year old girl in this story is named Jairus. We know this from reading Mark’s account. Jairus was the synagogue leader in Capernaum. This is important because in chapter eight we were introduced to the Centurion who had great faith. If you remember, he built the synagogue in Capernaum. I’m sure the builder of the synagogue and the leader of the synagogue knew each other. Jairus may have even met Jesus before. In Luke 7:3-6, we read that some of the elders of this synagogue went to Jesus on the Centurion’s behalf. Jairus could have been part of this group that went and witnessed Jesus’ miraculous healing of the Centurion’s servant. Even if he was not part of this group, I have no doubt he knew the Centurion and had heard the story of how Jesus healed his servant without even seeing him. When Jairus’ daughter became ill, I’m sure he became desperate. I would. Did the Centurion tell him to go seek out Jesus? It makes me wonder.

Investigational Resources: Mark 5:22-43 and Luke 8:41-56.

Officer Safety Principle: We have to be desperate for Christ but not just in crisis situations. We have to live a life that is desperate for Him all of the time.

from The Gospel of Matthew Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
Click here to check out the entire Through the Eyes of a Cop series!