Without exaggeration, I can tell you that each day of my week contains news about someone who is deathly ill or has just died. As of this writing, I have conducted seven funerals in the last four weeks, and I have another one in a few days. Where is Jesus when you need him?
After leaving Nazareth, to avoid the town’s efforts to kill him, Jesus went to Capernaum to teach in their synagogue. There he saw a demon-possessed man and he healed him. Later that evening, at Peter’s house, the people brought all who had various kinds of sickness. Jesus healed them all. I guess they knew where Jesus was when they needed him.
The next morning he went out to a quiet place, to commune with his Father. But the people found him and begged him to stay; they even tried to stop him from leaving. But other towns and synagogues needed his ministry. Where was Jesus when they needed him?
There are days when I wish Jesus was here, not in Israel, but in Houston. I would take him to M.D. Anderson to cure cancer. I would take him to hospitals, nursing homes, hospice centers, children’s burn wards, centers for abused women, Psychiatric wards, emergency rooms, urgent care clinics, and to the homes of those who are suffering. There are some graves I’d like him to visit. I might even ask him to fix me up a little.
But he isn’t here, and he isn’t coming. The miracles, wonders, and signs he performed were purposed in creating belief, so the Jewish nation would embrace him as the Anointed of God. Many did, some didn’t, and some who didn’t killed him.
Jesus was all about a different kingdom, one not of this world. He ascended not to give us heaven on earth, but to give us hope for heaven above. We live in a dark, and broken world, filled with sin, suffering, and sickness.
Where is Jesus when you need him? Well, he is always here, always near, and always available. Not to transform our world into a perfect Garden of Eden, but to give us the strength to keep going and the peace to sustain us. Heaven above is later.
Each day we face a troubled world, but take heart, for he has overcome the world!