Is There a Seat for Jesus?

Recently, I spoke with a friend who, upon moving to a new town, visited the local church she had grown up in. She said all the heads turned when she walked in, and they weren’t just looks of curiosity. As she found a seat, she had a feeling that she was sitting in someone else’s seat. She sat through the service, feeling uncomfortable. She continued to try to visit the church, picking different pews and different spaces within them for several Sundays. Each Sunday, she was met with the same reaction, that she was occupying a seat that belonged to someone else or that she was unwelcome. She even waited one Sunday until the last minute, after the church bells rang, giving everyone a chance to sit in their regular places. She still was met with turned heads and eyes looking down their noses. The minister never payed her a visit and she finally quit going. Why go where you don’t feel accepted or wanted? I’ve thought about our conversation a few times since and it strikes me how their reception is so unlike my friend’s personality. She embodies the same opening arms towards others as Jesus, not judging, but loving people exactly as they are. Others from all walks of life are welcome in her world.

Jesus in church

I wonder what those church people could have had in their minds to be so cold to such a warm and caring person? Were there rumors or gossip they had spread and believed, which are usually lies? Or did they feel they were too good for her? Or were they so cliquish, that they didn’t accept others who hadn’t been in their fold for years? Greater still, would they recognize Jesus if he came through their doors and sat in one of the pews or would he have been met with the same huffs and looks of derision? I can tell you they did encounter Jesus, and they didn’t recognize him, because we carry Jesus with us, when we are believers. (Galatians 2:20 “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.“) We are the light and perhaps that is what they didn’t like. Her light was dispelling their darkness and their sins of piety and holier-than-thou attitude.

I think of how opposite their attitude was to Jesus’ attitude towards others. The first one that comes to mind is the Samaritan woman. He hadn’t heard rumors about her, he Knew her life story, but that didn’t keep him from talking with her and offering her the living water. 

John 4:7, 9-10, 13-15 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink? The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

He went on to ask her to call her husband and she said she didn’t have one and he told her she was right, she’d had five. But that didn’t stop Jesus from conversing with her or offering her salvation, because he didn’t look at her sins or what people said about her, he looked at her as redeemed. 

Another story that comes to mind is when Jesus ate with Levi, a tax collector and sinners. It was then that the pious teachers of the law had a fit! They couldn’t figure out why Jesus would eat with tax collectors and sinners. But how would he reach them, if he didn’t fellowship with them? They welcomed Jesus at their table and many turned their lives to follow him. 

Mark 2: 15-17 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

So these were people that were not accepted in the community, but what about those who were? What about the leaders, how did they treat Jesus when he dined with them?
Let’s look at one Sabbath at a prominent Pharisee’s house, (maybe a deacon or bishop in today’s standards). 

Luke 14:1-4, 7-11 One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. There in front of him was a man suffering from abnormal swelling of his body. Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law,“Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him on his way. When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Jesus didn’t allow the circumstances of those around him to stop him from doing what his father had sent him to do, to heal the sick and save the lost. He also didn’t miss an opportunity to teach them how ill-behaved they were in choosing their seats and jockeying for position. So, to me, my friend was in good company, because her lifestyle was the same as Jesus, going again and again where she wasn’t wanted and continuing to love those who are rejected by society as she had been. I wonder, is there a seat for others in your life? Is there a seat for Jesus? 


Lamb, You are Covered

“Talitha koum”… Many have heard the story of Jairus’ daughter. But this is a view that you may not have thought of or studied before. I posted this the other day in relation to our granddaughter who is critically ill in the hospital. We believe she will be healed and know that Jesus will lift her up.

In Mark 5:21-43 is an outstanding example of healing: Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, approached Jesus and fell at his feet, his daughter was ill. He came to ask Jesus to heal her, but before Jesus had reached Jairus’ house, his messengers told him his daughter had died, but Jesus told Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith.” He then forbid the crowd to follow them. He chose only Peter, James, and John to accompany them (those who believed) to Jairus’ house. When they arrived, he told the people who gathered to mourn; that the girl only slept and they laughed and scorned him. So, Jesus told them all to leave. He only allowed her parents and the three disciples to accompany him into her room. He went in took her by the hand and told her, “Talitha koum.” Immediately, the 12 year old girl arose, then Jesus instructed the parents to feed her nourishment.

Jairus’ daughter – Del Parson

The phrase, ‘Talitha koum’ stood out to me and in the different translations, it is worded many different ways, but I felt there was more than has been translated, so I did some searching of my own on the root word. If you look up the etymology of the word ‘talitha’ in Aramaic, going all the way back to the root, it means “lamb.”  If you look at it in Hebrew, the word ‘taleth’ is very similar in sound and also means, “lamb.”  But there is also another set of words that are very similar to these two ‘talya’ and the meanings are to lift up and to cover. This word later became the name Talith, meaning “a cloak of honor or distinction.”

Who is Our covering, but THE LAMB, Jesus, and we are His Lambs, we Belong to Jesus. So to me it is no wonder, he would say, “Lamb, you are covered, be lifted up!” Remember only the lamb can resurrect the dead in Christ and can heal the sick. The power to heal comes through Jesus.

The Ripple Effect of Love

I have found through the years, that any research can lead from one subject to another. This morning I was researching a phrase that led me to a mathematical theory, called ‘chaos theory,’ which then led me to the phrase ‘butterfly effect.’ I was thinking of examples of the theory and the effect. If I understand them correctly, an example would be skipping stones over water. As a young child, skipping rocks was one of my favorite things to do on one of the farms I grew up on. I would wander down the creek away from where my grandparents were fishing. We had an area on the creek, that has a ledge of shale. Those pieces of dark gray, thin, shale rock that flaked off the ledge, made for awesome rock skipping! I always looked for the ones with the least variation in thickness, so the aerodynamics would yield the best results. But I didn’t know at that age what aerodynamics even were, I just knew the rocks needed to be thin and smooth to skip the most number of times. Now I know that there are variables which can change the way the rocks react to skipping and sinking. Those variables include the type of spin the rock is thrown with, the force of the spin, the shape of the rock, the degree of angle that the rock has when it hits the water, the calmness of the water, etc. All of these occurrences can change how many times a rock spins and skips. Skipping stones is a past time that is known and practiced around the world. It is probably one of the few things that can cross barriers of language and understanding.

But I’ve also learned something that cannot be explained by a mathematical theory or change with effect, which also crosses all boundaries, language barriers and does not involve chaos. It is the Love of Jesus. It doesn’t matter how hard a person’s heart is, Jesus’ Love is penetrating, constant, sincere, and His redemption is for everyone. We cannot win others by condemnation, but we can reach them with love and allow the Holy Spirit to soften their heart. It is the way that God provided to bring man back into his original purpose, which is to have fellowship with all mankind. This morning during my prayer time, I was thinking of the death chants by the radicals in the Middle East and I prayed, “NO! I do not agree with this mindset! I call death to any spirit that calls people to desire the destruction of others, not death to those people personally. I call death to the evil they engage in and I speak LIFE to them! I speak that the Spirit of God will arrest their hearts into true understanding. I speak LOVE & PEACE!

I pray that Jesus will be revealed to them and that the corruption of their hearts will cease. I speak a Healing to their land. I claim a righteousness to invade their land like nothing they’ve ever experienced before. I call for a stirring in their souls to be awakened to God’s original purpose, to know and love each other and the world around them. It can start with one man, and then another, and another, like a skipping stone causes a ripple effect, and it will continue forever. When we start seeing with the eyes of spiritual understanding we will see Jesus all around us, we will see others with the potential to return to God’s original purpose. Many today are aborting the Spirit because they are holding onto the law of religion and the traditions of man. God put his spirit within us to be birthed over and over again, but many use spiritual birth control by hanging onto the law and false religions, which Christ already redeemed us from. (See Colossians 1:1-14) When we recognize his seed, his original purpose, which came to fruition by Christ’s resurrection, we will start watering it and see it spring forth Life!

I pray for the mouths of all the governmental, religious, and system leaders around the world who speak or contribute to the destruction of any man to be softened to hear and to know PERFECT LOVE. I pray that their misguided leadership, anger, fear, and hatred is replaced with love and acceptance. How will they know HIS LOVE if they do not hear? I pray for ministers to be called into their midst and into their personal lives, who can reach their hearts by your Word. I pray for a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the people and the land that all their barbaric customs cease. I pray for an encounter with God who is the only one who can change hearts.

I claim these things through the redemptive power of Jesus. I pray for doubt and unbelief to stop in their land and ours. I pray that we quit calling others barbarians and perverts, but that we call them redeemed. Father I thank you that your will is being performed throughout earth to transform the hearts and minds of people towards each other. I call the scattered to come into one accord as you desire and that we will seek to live in peace and trust, with our fellow man, both in America and abroad.

I pray for awakening in our own land in our leaders and our citizens to seek you and your will. I pray for Heaven to come to earth by your people who are called and I pray you would give them understanding that condemnation cannot heal, hate cannot heal, despising cannot heal, corruption cannot heal, but only your Love can heal our land and the world. I praise you that we will see the manifestation of your will on earth as you have instructed us to pray in

Matthew 6:9-10 “Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”

Give us the courage and realization to point to the answer and not to the problem. Give us Peace where there is chaos. The answer is Jesus Christ. How can we say we believe in a Living God if we do not share His love and His answer to a lost and dying world? Help us to share His answer. We have the answer!

Luke 5:31-32 Jesus answered them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor-sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.”