When we travel, say a train journey, we meet people. They are not friends but we call them acquaintances. But certain people who enter our lives help us, support us, stand by us, transforming us to reach the sky, the zenith of glory, the summit of success or the pinnacle of joy. Such transformation leaves everlasting memories, gratitude and breath of a new life in our hearts.
Encounter with Jesus
The word ENCOUNTER means “bring a change after contact so that you are no more the old self.” i.e. leaves an impression on someone. The same happens with our relationship with Jesus. We all know him as God, His life, His glorious finish and so on. This knowledge cannot help us in any way.
When Jesus was walking along the roads of Jerusalem and Judea many people flocked around him. They were all gifted to see him face to face which none of us got. Yet how many of them benefited? Only the ones who allowed Jesus to transform them completely.
Let us now look at three encounters people had with Jesus:
1. Bartimaeus [Mark 10:46-52]
Bartimaeus, a beggar on the roadside, totally blind, has heard so many talk about a man named Jesus. He pondering over His power, fully desires to meet Jesus, awaits with anxiety, as his last chance of hope in life. Bartimaeus cries out yelling in full surrender “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me” as He passes by him. Jesus, fully aware of the situation, moves forward. Now the beggar hears (for he cannot see) the sound fade and Jesus moving beyond him, his last ray of hope fading, throws himself and yells “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me”. Now Jesus turns back, calls him and asks “What can I do for you?”. He answers “I want to see You”. That is it. His sight was restored! This is what Encounter is all about!
2. The Woman with Hemorrhage [Luke 8:43-48]
A woman with heavy bleeding for 12 years comes to Jesus, “For she said in herself, If I may touch but his garment only, I shall be whole.” A huge crowd was pressing Jesus, still He particularly felt some power leaving him. He knew that a woman with full hope of being healed is touching Him. Jesus asks “Who touched me?” Peter says “Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?”. This is the difference between being pressed by a crowd and touched by a single one with faith, full of hope and surrender to be transformed. At this perfect timing healing becomes instantaneous. The woman certainly had an Encounter with Jesus.
3. Martha and Mary [John 11]
The dynamics between the two sisters and Jesus is just awesome, revealing and releasing many graces and blessings in stages. When Lazarus dies, the whole of Bethany gather in their home in mourning. Martha comes to know that Jesus is in town. She runs to the street, meets Jesus and says “Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died”. Then she runs home, tells her sister and brings her to Jesus and now Mary repeats every word of Martha “Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died”. Jesus is deeply moved and seeing the crowd weeping He too weeps. The crowd says “He who opened the eyes of the blind, can he not prevent this man from dying?” Again Jesus is deeply moved. Now comes the glorious finish. “Lazarus come out”! The whole audience then had an encounter with Jesus…dumb struck, standing in awe to see a dead man coming out to dine with them! Amen.
We can go on with many more examples like Centurion, Zacchaeus, Leper – they all had a desire to go to Jesus with their whole heart and faith. We also see that Judas, Pilate, High Priest, Herod, Pharisees – they all had the greatest chance of seeing Jesus face to face, yet they were lost in their own world of mortality, filled with hidden agendas and missed the mark and lost the valuable eternal life.
Let us seek Jesus to get transformed, to have an encounter with full confidence, hope, trust and faith, without even the slightest ray of doubt or apprehension. We are sure to be transformed in our six areas [Job 5:19] of life viz: physical, mental, spiritual, family, society and finance. Amen!
– – – written by Cecilia Francis