Saturday, 11 April 2009

Walking in relationship

To some extent this continues yesterday's blog. There I talked about God having a greater plan of healing and not just being focused on the individuals who are sick but that he is seeking to heal those around them. However, healing isn't just something that happens to individuals. God seeks to heal communities, nations, and the world.

But what is the key to healing? It can take a long time and be a difficult road to become in tune with God and to hear what He is saying. In Luke 18:35-43, Jesus is walking with his disciples teaching them. Barclay says that it was common for Rabbis to “discourse as they walked.” The picture that came to mind was of a group of cyclists out on an afternoon ride. As they cycle, they chat. Sometimes about riding technique but often about a range of issues. In the process some learning goes on.

Yesterday, I was at the Wellington Civic Centre talking another 360ยบ image. As I worked away many people came up and talked with me wanting to know what I was doing. Some would have gone away a little wiser about how some image are created. Just in the everyday activities, there are opportunities to teach if we are ready to respond or for us to learn if we are open to listen.

I am increasingly seeing Jesus walking with me as I go through each of life's situations. Sometimes, it is a quite word. Other times, it is an insight give just when it is required. As we go about our journey in of life, helping where we can, learning, and teaching from our experiences, Jesus walks with us providing a gently word or reminding us when we haven't lived up to the commitment that we made.

As Jesus walked through life, he saw opportunities to heal and to give but he also saw the opportunities to teach. He healed ten lepers even though only one returned to praise God (Luke 17:11-19). That one was a Samaritan, despised by the Jews. The others, we assume where Jews. Jesus didn't heal because he knew all would seek to praise God nor did he reject the Samaritan because he was not a Jew. He healed all and then used the response to teach a valuable lesson to his disciples. When Zacchaeus climbed the tree to see Jesus, Jesus saw the need in Zacchaeus and went to his home to share with him (Luke 19:1-10). Jesus taught not just by word. He also taught by deed.

Our journey is always in a context of events that surround us. We need to be involved and not separated from those events. We give where we can and grow through the interactions. We are taught through those events and we become God's tool to teach others.

Barclay finishes his commentary on Luke 18:35-43 by saying “Men may respect an orator but they love a man with helping hands. Men admire a man with a great mind but they love a man with a big heart.” As I walk through life, I want to teach and encourage but in order to do so, I must be able to do and to have a heart of compassion. I have stated one of my goals as to study, to do, and to teach (Ezra 7: 10). Maybe more importantly is to recognise the context in which this is appropriate and have the compassion to recognise the appropriate way to respond.

Increasingly, I am seeing healing and teaching as walking in relationship with Jesus. When I walk in relationship with him then he helps me to see what to say and how to respond. As yesterday's Good Friday service ended, I had the renewed sense that “Jesus walked and taught. He continues to do so now.” We have to be willing to hear and to act as he leads.

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