A Face-to-Face Encounter with Jesus

Have you been knocked down recently?

Physically knocked down by a diagnosis?

Mentally knocked down by a tough situation?

Emotionally knocked down by a circumstance or a person?

In Mark 1:30 we're introduced to a woman who has been knocked down "Simon's mother-in-law was in bed with a fever..." This woman was a busy woman. Why, a large group of hungry and tired men have just entered her house. It's possible this group of men came to her house because they knew they would get fed and rested.

When my older boys were teenagers we lived super close to the high school in our community. Often I had my house flooded with a large group of hungry and tired boys immediately following the school day and before basketball practice. I always had 10 lbs. of potatoes ready to be peeled, boiled, and then mashed. A chicken would be baking in the oven to accompany the mashed spuds. Hungry boys would be filled. Tired boys would be re-energized for their upcoming practice.

When I was diagnosed with cancer the extra boys stopped coming over after school. After all, I was knocked down.

Being knocked down...even knocked off your feet...is not always a bad thing. What better opportunity does Jesus have to get you in a face-to-face encounter with Him? Being knocked down allows you to become a captive audience for Jesus.

Mark 1:31 "So [Jesus] went to her, took her hand, and helped her up..."

My preacher-husband, Kevin, will often say "Jesus loves you right where you are..." Jesus loves this woman in Mark chapter 1 right where she's at...knocked down. So He went to her.

Jesus went to her

He met her right where she was - knocked down. This is where her face-to-face encounter with Jesus begins: with Jesus initiating.

Jesus initiates a face-to-face encounter with her. And He knows what she needs. He always knows what we need even before we're aware of our need.

Jesus loves you right where you are, Kevin then adds, but He loves you too much to leave you there.

Jesus took her hand

After He initiates this face-to-face encounter with her He touches her. Jesus touches her. He takes her hand. Oh the touch of Jesus. As the songwriter puts it: He touched me, oh He touched me, and oh the joy that floods my soul. I imagine this knocked-down woman knows this joy the songwriter speaks of.

Jesus didn't go to the door of her room, stand at a distance, and say "get up, people are waiting, you're wasting our time, we're hungry, we're tired and you need to just ignore what you're feeling; whatever has you knocked down; just ignore it and move on."

Jesus went to her. He stooped down by her bedside, looked her in the eye - that's a true face-to-face encounter with Jesus - Him looking you in the eye; seeing you for who you really are, loving you right where you are, and then loving you too much to leave you there. Loving you too much to leave you in your knocked-down state so He touches you. And oh the joy that floods your soul.

When Jesus comes to you and takes your hand He now has your attention. Whatever has your attention has you. This woman in Mark 1:31 was knocked down and it had her attention. Jesus went to her and took her hand and now He has her attention. Her fever is no longer her captivator because Jesus has captivated her attention by taking her hand. Now her eyes are off herself and off her predicament and they're on Jesus.

Jesus helped her up

She didn't have to help herself...Jesus helped her. She is incapable of helping herself. There's a saying...a lie, really....that says 'Jesus helps those who help themselves.' If that were the case then why need Jesus at all? This woman needed Jesus.

Be careful here though - she didn't need Jesus to heal her; she needed Jesus. Period. We all have the same need.

We need Jesus. I need Jesus. You need Jesus.

Jesus went to her. Jesus took her hand. Jesus helped her up. Then...

Mark 1:31 "...the fever left her and she began to wait on them..."

Before Jesus heals her she has a face-to-face encounter with Jesus. Fact is, having a face-to-face encounter with Jesus doesn't require you being issue-less; it doesn't require having your act together; it doesn't require you standing on your own. Being knocked down is a good place for Jesus to initiate a face-to-face encounter with you.

After all, Jesus loves you right where you are but He loves you too much to leave you there. This knocked-down woman in Mark had her face-to-face encounter with Jesus and then she began to wait on the hungry and tired people.

You may have hungry and tired people in your life. People hungry for Jesus; hungry for a face-to-face encounter with the Savior. Hungry for His Word. People who are tired...sick and tired...in the difficulties of their life. Tired of hurting. Tired of being knocked down.

Do as this woman in Mark did...wait on them, serve them, love them, point them to Jesus. After this knocked-down woman had her face-to-face encounter with Jesus look what happened!

Mark 1:33 "The whole town gathered at her door and Jesus healed many..."

What's happened at your door lately?