Bothering Jesus

Today was the nicest day we’ve had in a long, long time. It wasn’t too hot. It was just warm enough to leave the jacket at home, dig out the flip-flops, and take the dog for a walk. It was just… perfect… We were out of milk, so I decided to take advantage of the weather and walk to the store. It’s a decent walk, but with the weather so nice, I didn’t mind the distance at all.

I didn’t know when I would have a chance to go back to the store, so I decided to get two gallons of milk. On the way back, I see I’m not the only one who thought the weather was so nice. Over at this house, there was a family on their front porch. I didn’t know them personally, but I had seen them at a church I visited a few times. I knew they were what most might call “church people.”

As I’m walking, I hit the gravel just the wrong way, and I end up on all fours. There’s traffic racing by, and one of my milk jugs busted and went everywhere. While I’m trying to gather myself, I hear this obnoxious laughter, and look up to see that this family is just laughing, and laughing, and laughing. I was so embarrassed… Then while I was trying to get up, I realized that on both of my flip-flops, the strap was torn off in the fall. These people notice me noticing my shoes, and then it was like the cherry on their big joke sundae. They laughed louder and harder. I wanted the earth to open up and swallow me.

So many times, the disciples are found in scripture to be telling people not to bother the Teacher. Not to bother Jesus. In Matthew 19, they try to turn away parents who were bringing their children to Jesus for a blessing. Jesus scolded the disciples and said, “Don’t turn them away! The kingdom of heaven belongs to little ones such as these.” And then the scriptures tell us Jesus laid hands on the children, and blessed them. In Luke 9, a woman is told not to trouble Jesus anymore about her sick daughter, because the girl died. Jesus insisted she was only sleeping. Jesus was very good at breaking up funerals. In John 12, a sinful woman is told to get away from Jesus. Jesus says, “Leave her alone! You didn’t offer even to wash my feet, but she is washing my feet with her tears.”

There’s a saying among believers that goes, “God helps those who help themselves.” This is a totally unbiblical statement. God helps those who are totally incapable. He helps those who are weak, and can’t walk. He heals those who are hurting and sick. He sends messengers and pours down His love on the broken-hearted. He sent His Son so that the sinner could live.

In Matthew 25, Jesus tells us that when we feed the hungry, we’re feeding him. When we visit the sick and imprisoned, we’re visiting him. When we give water to the thirsty, we’re giving it to him. When you DON’T care for the least of these, you’re letting Jesus go hungry, thirsty, or alone.

Today, tomorrow, this week, this year, I challenge you. Be that person who listens when nobody else wants to. Be the one who leaves the group to help the nerd pick up their books. Stand up for the bullied. Help the fallen rise. Feed the hungry. Visit the sick and imprisoned. Do it for God’s glory! For His sheep recognize His voice, and they come to Him. When you hear a cry, it’s His voice, calling for help. If we are the hands and feet of Jesus, and we don’t see Jesus moving the community, then why are we blaming God?

I challenge you… Bother Jesus!