“While he was saying this, a ruler came and knelt before him and said,
‘My daughter has just died. But come and put your hands on her and she will live.’”
Matthew 9:18 (NIV)
I found myself caught off guard when I found the above passage. In the story, I notice that the ruler knelt before Jesus. Now, I find that unusual. This man was the ruler of the synagogue, an authority figure, and yet he knew to humble himself before the Lord. Had he heard of this itinerant preacher? He must have. Did he believe in Him? He seems to. Did the ruler have faith in what Jesus could do? (heal people.) Yes he did.
The books of Mark and Luke say this was Jairus. Mark tells us ‘He pleaded earnestly.’
Do we sometimes go out on a limb and insist that Jesus do something for us rather than approach His throne with humility?
“Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to
Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor.”
Matthew 20:20 (NIV)
This passage intrigues me. As I understand it, James and John were cousins of Jesus. Their mother was his aunt. And she comes with her sons to ask a favor of the Lord. She kneels before Him and requests her sons have a place of honor. She had enough respect for the Master to approach him in a humble manner. But He told her she asked of Him something that wasn't His to do; this fell under God’s decision. Sometimes we ask God for something that He will not do because that task is a job we can do it for ourselves. I am guilty of this; is anyone else?
In our 21st Century lifestyles, do we forget to kneel in adoration or when we request something from God? In a lot of churches we see an altar rail with places for kneeling. In one church of which I was a part, some of the members knelt between the pews, using the seat part as a resting place for their arms while they prayed. The building I worked in on an Army post had folding chairs in its auditorium that had kneelers attached to the back legs. If they were being used, the padded shelves were popped down but most of the time they were flipped up and out of the way.
In the early 1970’s, I was in a cottage prayer meeting prior to a revival series at my then church. As we were getting ready to pray, the leader of the group all at once stood, turned around, and knelt at his chair, using it as an altar, before he started to pray. The rest of us followed his lead and knelt where we were.
I have noticed how people talk to others. We might need to take a lesson in humility before our peers as well as before the Lord.
I will be going unplugged until Monday June 3rd.
My intent is to do as thorough a job of Spring Cleaning as I can in preparation of our son visiting us the last week of this month.
It is my hope to be able to unplug completely from the cyber world.