A Year with Jesus: 'The ARC of My Grace'

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Note from Jesus

Dear Child of God,

Many people in your world view My ministry as little more than a traveling miracle show. Many people during My time on earth viewed it in the same way. Nevertheless, I refused to be a traveling miracle show. I refused to do things simply to impress people or just to prove to them how powerful I am. If you remember My temptations by Satan in the wilderness, I refused to do miracles for My own good, for My own reputation, or for proof of God's approval and presence in My ministry. I refused these shortcuts to winning people's hearts. Instead, I chose to win the hearts of people through My earthly ministry to them and My going to the cross for them — and that includes you!

If you look at most of My miracles for people, they follow a similar pattern. You can call it the ARC of grace:
  1. Acceptance of the person with his or her needs.
  2. Relationship established with that person through kind words or physical touch.
  3. Community restored to that person so she or he could re-enter life that is full and good.
Remember yesterday? We looked at the time when I cast many demons out of Battalion. Now compare how I did that miracle with the miracles I do in the verses below. Sure, you can talk about My great power if that is your focus. I have power over demons. I have power over disease. I have power over death. And yes, you can focus on My power — but that is only part of the point I want you to grasp today.

Today's point is as simple as it is personal; My love and My power are personal. I have the power to restore you! Yes, people — the crowd, the many, the lost — all matter to Me. Each person matters to Me — the hopeless and uncontrollable man called Battalion, the good and influential man named Jairus, and the outcast woman who was considered unclean. Each — let your heart settle on that word — each matters to Me! Each! So My miracle for each of these people follows this ARC of My grace.

Notice how the woman was healed in the verses below. She was physically healed as soon as she touched Me. She could have left with her miracle for her physical condition, but how would she have known she was loved and accepted — that she mattered to God even when she was still sick? How would she have known that what she did was no cause for her to be ashamed and no offense to God? How would the community around her have known she was healed and should be welcomed back into daily fellowship in the neighborhood, the market, and the synagogue? She needed the full ARC of my grace — acceptance, relationship, and community — to fully restore her in every way.

Now notice Jairus and his dying daughter. Here was a moment for Me to capture the goodwill of many people, especially people of position and influence. Jairus, unlike the woman, had many people surrounding him and supporting him. A miracle for his daughter could have raised My standing in the community. But remember, I didn't do miracles for Me! I did them because people needed to experience the ARC of My grace! So notice carefully what I did.

When Jairus was told that his daughter was dead, I encouraged him to believe. Then I did something that seems crazy to folks who want to make My ministry into a traveling miracle show. I put everyone out of the house so I could go inside and personally minister to Jairus, his wife, and his dead daughter. Notice how personal I was with what I did. I took the girl's hand — I was willing to become ceremonially unclean when I touched her. I wanted there to be more than just acceptance of Jairus and his family even though he represented a group largely opposed to Me. I wanted to establish physical contact, build a true relationship, with this girl and her family. Finally, after instructing her to get up, I gave the simple command that seems so strangely ordinary: give her something to eat. Let's have table fellowship and re-establish community and restore the life of this family which was now whole.

Dear child of God, please understand something very important. Miracles are only for a moment. Sooner or later each person on earth will run out of miracles to keep their bodies whole and alive! Yes, miracles are very important to you. I get that. But please understand something even more significant: you are more important to Me than miracles. I want you to experience the ARC of My grace and to pass it along to others: Accept others where they are in their messes, agonies, and problems, but don't leave them there. Establish relationship by being personally involved with them — don't just throw money at their problems and abandon them. Connect with them through talk and touch to help them know they are loved. Help restore them to community — help them reconnect to life with other people who will walk beside them and include them in the life of My family.

As much as you may want a miracle, I can assure you that a miracle is for just a moment in the grand scheme of time. The ARC of grace gives people true life — life that matters now and life that lasts long after miracles no longer matter.

Verses to Live

Read through this story several times while seeing yourself as different people in the story. Notice how My grace impacts each person in a different way. Now try to share that ARC of grace with others!
When Jesus and His disciples crossed the lake, another crowd was waiting to welcome Him. A man made his way through the crowd. His name was Jairus, and he was a synagogue official. Like the man [Battalion, with many demons] on the other side of the lake, this dignified man also fell at Jesus' feet, begging Jesus to visit his home where his only daughter, a girl of 12, lay dying. Jesus set out with Jairus. The crowd came along, too, pressing hard against Him.

In the crowd was a woman. She had suffered from an incurable menstrual disorder for 12 years [and had spent her livelihood on doctors with no effect]. It had kept her miserable and ritually unclean, unable to participate fully in Jewish life. She followed Jesus, until she could reach Him. She touched the fringe of the robe Jesus wore, and at that moment the bleeding stopped.

Jesus (stopping and looking about):
Who touched Me?
Some in the Crowd (everyone speaking at once):
Not me.
Another in the Crowd:
It wasn't me either.
Peter [and those with him] (intervening):
Master, what kind of question is that, with this huge crowd all around You and many people touching You on all sides?
I felt something. I felt power going out from Me. I know that somebody touched Me.
The woman now realized her secret was going to come out sooner or later, so she stepped out of the crowd, shaking with fear, and she fell down in front of Jesus. Then she told her story in front of everyone — why she touched Him, what happened as a result.

Your faith has made you well again, daughter. Go in peace.
Right at that instant, one of Jairus' household servants arrived.

Sir, your daughter is dead. It's no use bothering the Teacher with this anymore.
Jesus (interrupting Jairus before he could speak):
Don't be afraid. Just believe. She'll be well again.
As they approached the house, the whole neighborhood was full of the sound of mourning — weeping, wailing, loud crying. Jesus told everyone to stay outside — everyone except Peter, John, James, and, of course, the girl's father and mother.

Jesus (to the mourners):
Please stop weeping. The girl isn't dead. She's only asleep.
They knew for certain that she was dead, so their bitter tears now mixed with mocking laughter.

Meanwhile, inside, Jesus took the girl's hand.

Child, get up!
She started breathing again, and she sat right up.

Get her something to eat.
Her parents were amazed, but Jesus sternly told them to keep what had happened a secret.
(Luke 8:40-56)

Response in Prayer

Almighty God, my Abba Father, thank You for knowing me and loving me and restoring me personally. In a world that makes me little more than a number, thank You for valuing me and leaving the numbering for the hairs on my head. In a world that sees headlines one minute, then forgets them the next, thank You for knowing and calling me by name. Yes, dear Father, I needed Your ARC of grace to reach me. Now, I ask that You will use me to extend that ARC of grace to someone who needs grace, too. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.


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About This Devotional

A Year with Jesus is a daily devotional written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives.

'A Year with Jesus' is written by Phil Ware.

All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.