THE BURDENED AND BATTERED Feb 16, 2008 18:35:35 GMT -5
Post by tomdurst on Feb 16, 2008 18:35:35 GMT -5
THE BURDENED AND BATTERED
by Thomas E. Durst
by Thomas E. Durst
God's Servant Will Set Everything Right
1-4 "Take a good look at my servant.
I'm backing him to the hilt.
He's the one I chose,
and I couldn't be more pleased with him.
I've bathed him with my Spirit, my life.
He'll set everything right among the nations.
He won't call attention to what he does
with loud speeches or gaudy parades.
He won't brush aside the bruised and the hurt
and he won't disregard the small and insignificant,
but he'll steadily and firmly set things right.
He won't tire out and quit. He won't be stopped
until he's finished his work—to set things right on earth.
Far-flung ocean islands
wait expectantly for his teaching." [The Message]
16-19 He came to Nazareth where he had been reared. As he always did on the Sabbath, he went to the meeting place. When he stood up to read, he was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll, he found the place where it was written,
God's Spirit is on me;
he's chosen me to preach the Message of good news to
Sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and
recovery of sight to the blind,
To set the burdened and battered free,
to announce, "This is God's year to act!" [The Message]
These verses describe Jesus' mission to "the bruised and the hurt" and the "burdened and battered." How many of us could claim that our lives haven't fallen into those categories at times? How many people do we meet everyday who have not been badly wounded in the battle of life and/or are not currently facing heavy issues? If the truth were really known, this would include practically everyone especially if we factor in financial, emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical challenges. Some people appear outwardly to be very "normal" but are inwardly experiencing pain beyond what we can even begin to imagine.
I would encourage you to take some time to meditate upon the beauty of the above quoted scriptures which concisely summarize the healing mission of Jesus to this earth. Today there is a growing awareness of the need for providing practical help for wounded people and there are more practical ministries available and more helpful books being written now than ever before in history. There is help for everyone who wants it. We are wise to avail ourselves of these resources not only for our own personal needs but for ideas on how to be more effective in helping others.
What impresses me more than anything else is that the Master's approach to helping was gentle, loving, and very embracing. He was never harsh, judgmental, tactless, or abrupt. The only exception to this was when he was dealing with some of the very pious and hypocritical religious leaders of his time. His approach to them seemed to have been rather straight forward and very plain spoken.
We need to always keep in mind that when a person is already "bruised and hurt" giving advice or lecturing about what he/she should and shouldn't do can do far more harm than good. Good listening is often the best way to help those who are badly bruised. So many times we are so full of ourselves and our own opinions that we really aren't listening and tuning into the heart of the other person and understanding their pain.
Jesus included a lot of folks in his circle of ministry that were excluded by mainstream society--such as the tax collectors, prostitutes, those with physical deformities, and those whom the Israelites classified as "outsiders." Shouldn't this possibly tell us something? Do we tend to exclude the marginalized people of society from our circle of love and concern because of a personal discomfort level? Are we sometimes not called to move outside of our comfort zones in order to minister to some of the neediest of God's children?
Think about these things! All of us could find ways to be more helpful in our everyday contacts with people. The stuff of life is mostly composed of what we do on an everyday basis in very ordinary situations rather than occasional spectacular happenings. There is always room for more heart searching, learning, and growing.
I invite you to read ACCEPT EACH OTHER. Just click on the link below:
ACCEPT EACH OTHER