In the Gospel of Mark [5: 21-43], Mark records 3 encounters of people with Jesus. Please read this scripture through a couple of times. Jesus has returned from Gerasene having crossed the Lake by boat. He is met by a large crowd. Jesus is firstly approached by Jarius, president of the synagogue, begging Him to come to his residence to lay His hands on his daughter who is dying. As Jesus leaves with Jarius to make the journey, he is followed by a great crowd. A woman in the crowd who had suffered for years from hemorrhages came up behind Jesus and touched his garment knowing that the “touching” would make her well. Jesus immediately felt the power go out of Him as she touched His garment and He enquired as to who had touched Him. Jesus’ disciples were confused by this question as the crowd was pressing around Jesus and obviously many were touching Him. Jesus however persisted and the woman, knowing what had happened to her had come in fear and trembling and identified herself. Jesus reassured her that her faith had made her well and sent her off in peace. While this was happening some came from the house of Jarius to advise that his daughter had died. Jesus advised Jarius not to fear and simply to believe. Jesus then continued on to the house of Jarius but only permitted Peter, James and John to accompany him.
There are numerous places in the gospels where Jesus departs with 3 of his apostles, to permit them to experience with Him a miracle or some other event. This would appear to satisfy the requirements of the Old Testament provisions dealing with witnesses found in Deuteronomy 19: 15. The Law required 2 or 3 witnesses to substantiate a claim. Jesus, anticipating the writing of the New Testament, wanted to have witnesses able to attest to miracles and other accounts that would be included in the New Testament.
It is interesting that the Gospel account specifically records the fact that Jesus included the parents of the daughter of Jarius in the room where she was lying and where the miracle took place. On our own death, it will be Jesus who we will first encounter as he calls our name. How wonderful to be called into eternity by Jesus in the presence of our own parents.
As we complete our preparation to receive Jesus this Christmas, we might ponder the question that Jesus asks “Who do you say that I am?” If we respond with an open heart to our encounters with Him we come to realize that Jesus in addition to being our best friend and the Lord of the universe, the way, the truth and the life and much more is also the hungry to be fed, the naked to be clothed, the sick to be healed and the peace to be given.
May each of you have a blessed Christmas and may you continue to encounter Jesus each day in the faces of those who are in material need as well as those who long for the peace that only Jesus can give. You are His ambassador this Christmas and throughout the year as you encounter others in His name.