Pick Your Priorities

Priorities List

So far, we’ve read of Jesus’ early travels. He began in Capernaum, which is where the spiritually dead synagogue was. Later, He crossed over to the other side, where we read about the storm, legion in the guy, the pigs, and the Decapolis experience. So Jesus would go into the town, hang out and teach there, then go by the sea and teach there, cross over to the other side, and return. So NOW, in Mark 5:21-43, because the Gerasenes (townspeople on the other side of the sea) begged Him to leave, Jesus had again crossed over to the other side in the boat.

When Jesus arrived, a great crowd gathered around Him, and pushing through the crowd was one of the leaders of the synagogue (most possibly the spiritually dead one mentioned in the first chapter). When the leader saw Jesus, he fell at Jesus’ feet, and begged Him repeatedly to go with him to his house and lay His hands on his daughter, who was at the point of death, thus making her well again. So Jesus went with him and a large crowd followed, pressing in on Him.

Now understand the depth of this. After all the persecution that Jesus had been receiving from the Pharisees and Teachers of religious Law from their synagogues and area, for Jarius to not just approach and ask Jesus for help, but to fall at Jesus’ feet and repeatedly beg Him to come to his house to lay His hands on his daughter so that her life may be saved, is HUGE! Jarius wasn’t just a teacher, but one of the leaders at the synagogue. Everybody knew who he was. So just asking Jesus anything could have damaged his reputation among the people, as well as his colleagues.

Could this be a sign of desperation? Could this also be an example of the growth of one of the seeds?

Jesus also knew that Jarius and his buddies were planning His destruction. But He went with him anyway, and immediately – He didn’t even need to think about it. The Apostle Paul mentioned that “While we were still enemies of God, Christ came so that all who may believe and call on Him might be saved.”

Jarius probably still didn’t know that Jesus is God. He also probably still didn’t bother or think to compare Jesus to the Messianic scriptures. But he had heard of Jesus’ healings of all and every kind of sickness, and had a daughter who was dying.

I’ve noticed that a lot of times, we turn to God once we finally realize that there’s nothing we can do about it. For example,

  • If there’s a loved one who’s dying, and doctors can’t do any more, or the insurance won’t pay for it anymore…
  • Relationships break apart and nothing you do seems to help…
  • When you’ve lost everything already (there are a lot of homeless Christians)…
  • When your life is threatened…
  • When there’s nothing left to lose…

Jarius had nowhere else to turn. His daughter was dying. Regardless of what he chose to do, he would lose something, so he picked his priorities.

He also chose the importance of his daughter’s life over what others would say/think about him (reputation issue). Even after all this, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the Sabbath, he’d still ask Jesus for help.

How about you? If you haven’t accepted Jesus, or have never asked for His help, then what would it take for you to?

If you have accepted Jesus, what were you going through in your life when you did? If you’re with a group, share the experience (your testimony). If you’re alone, write it down, or type it in the comments section below, as I’d love to read it; or post it someplace (like on your blog or something).

One of the most difficult, yet most common reasons that many Christians don’t introduce their friends to Jesus (or talk about Him when with them), is reputation. Why do you suppose this is?

Jarius had something to lose in either case: If he asked Jesus for help, he would risk losing face among his co-workers, community, and friends, and maybe even his job. But if he did NOT ask Jesus for help, then he would risk losing his daughter. What needs to change (in you, situation, in your lives, etc.) for you to put Jesus before your reputation?

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