Jeremiah 23 tells how the sheep were scattered because of the failure of the shepherds placed over the people. He said a time would come when instead of being scattered the sheep would be gathered together by the Lord's Messiah, or one that would be called "The Lord Is Our Righteousness."
The righteousness of the Lord can be seen in Mark 6 in a variety of places. Prior to Mark 6, Jesus sent forth his disciples to proclaim the Good News, to heal, and to do ministry, not by their authority, but by the authority of Jesus, who is righteous because He is God. When the disciples return after all the wonders that they had witnessed in the name of Jesus, they were excited and exhausted. Jesus knew they needed rest and to be debriefed by talking about what they had witnessed.
The hunger of the people was so great that they followed wherever Jesus went. In Mark 6 we hear how the 5,000 were fed. We hear about Jesus walking on water, and the hunger and thirsting of the people to come to know the love God had for them.
Many of us remember these readings, how Jesus fed the multitudes, cast out demons, raised the dead, and how one woman believed that if she only touched the hem of his garment, she would be healed; and she was. Mark speaks again and again about how people were healed, for in Mark 6:56 we hear that it was not just one woman, but how people "begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed."
Jesus' power, love, miracles and teachings did not end on the cross. In fact, those things were only the beginning of what Jesus did and continues to do today.
When Jesus died on the cross, he paid the price for our sins (mine too). Jesus then opened the way for us to find healing through him today, as in the past. In fact, we find that in our brokenness is when we usually find Jesus. I am reminded of the words of a song that states that it is when we are knocked down that "we begin to look upward."
Only Jesus can help us rise above the problems of this world and overcome every challenge that comes before us. He offers this to all who are willing to believe and accept his grace as the price for their sins.
As in Jesus' day, what seems to get in the way of his grace is deception. Deception from a world that loves sin. Church leaders many times do not preach the gospel out of fear of losing their pulpits or positions. Sometimes they, like many others, have been sold a false bill of goods believing that humankind and their wisdom and knowledge are greater than the power of God. I am reminded of some definitions of what BS, MS and PHD mean outside the academic community.
I have personally witnessed healings. I have seen demons cast out, and I have no doubt that Jesus saves all who sincerely call upon His name.
What I believe does not matter, but what matters is whether you believe or not. Today, not tomorrow, is the time for you to turn your life over to the Lord. Today, not tomorrow, is the time for you to accept the forgiveness of your sins and the grace that only can be given to you by Jesus the Christ. Tomorrow may be too late! Turn your life over to Jesus. Today!
Behrens is the pastor of the Loyalsock/Wallis Run United Methodist charge.