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Thursday, January 18, 2007

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Hebrews 7:25—8:6
Psalm 40
Mark 3:7-12

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crowded conditions

"In view of their numbers, He told His disciples to have a fishing boat ready for Him so that He could avoid the press of the crowd against Him." —Mark 3:9

In His public ministry, Jesus was often surrounded, endangered, and hindered by great crowds. Sometimes the crowd of thousands following Jesus was so thick "that they were treading on one another" (Lk 12:1). Jesus was sometimes pushed and shoved in the crowd (see Mk 5:24). He even had to get into a boat to keep the crowd from pushing Him into the water.

The crowd sometimes made it impossible to get food to Jesus (Mk 3:20). On one occasion, the only way the friends of a paralyzed man could get near Jesus was to come in through the roof (Mk 2:4). On another occasion, the only way the short Zacchaeus could even see Jesus was to climb a tree (Lk 19:3-4).

Even today Jesus still seems surrounded by crowds. We sometimes must fight our way through a crowd of pride, self-hatred, confusion, doubt, and fear to touch Jesus. Our secular culture tries to stuff us with so many pleasures that we may be crowded out of life with Jesus. However, we can thin out the crowd considerably by repenting of our sins and simplifying our lifestyle. Then we can touch Jesus much more easily.

Prayer:  Father, may I give myself space by repenting.

Promise:  Jesus "is always able to save those who approach God through Him, since He forever lives to make intercession for them." —Heb 7:25

Praise:  Louise takes time in her busy schedule for daily prayer and quiet time with the Lord.

Reference:  (Presentation Ministries' ten-day series of retreats starts April 13, 2007 entitled Growing in Holiness. For information and a brochure, e-mail retreats@presentationministries.com or call 937-205-0128.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 13, 2006

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