“press”

It happened in a house where Jesus stood to teach. The crowd had become so great that there was no room left to enter as the people spilled out beyond the door. Perhaps the four men carrying their feeble friend showed up too late to get inside. Whatever the case, they were so determined to connect Jesus with their friend that they tore off the roof and lowered him down. It was nothing more than an act of desperation. One single line of scripture describes the issue: Mark 2:4 “And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press…”

It was the press that the woman with the issue of blood trouble encountered. Too many people in too small a place. She was in need, but there was no direct line to Jesus. She had to maneuver her way forward; plot her course just to touch Him. In all, she did not touch His hand or arm…she only reached the hem of His garment. Mark 5 says that she came behind the press to touch Him.

Consider Luke 19:3 And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. Zacchaeus had a physical limitation which kept him from Jesus. Once again, the press blocked him from the truth which came from the Master. However, his desire to hear the words of life caused him to climb a tree. Who would do that today? What kind of people tear off roofs and crawl on their knees and climb trees just to find the Lord?

I see a generation who wants Jesus to come to them. They think that He owes them healings, miracles, and direction. To many, the press is not worth the effort. If something comes up, worship is negotiable. If the weekend is taxing, Sunday night service becomes optional. Midweek Bible study is not on the chopping block as sports take precedent.

The “press” has not changed. Busy schedules and the cares of this life all stand in opposition to sitting at the feet of Jesus. The “press” is anything that keeps us from connecting to the Healer. It is everything that blocks our entry to reaching Him and hearing Him. Though some would scoff at the thought; the “press” could even be friends and family; jobs and community endeavors. Good things cloud the Best thing.

To find Jesus; touch Him; hear His words of wisdom, we will have to seek Him. We will have to work through the press which might even require desperation on our part. It might mean that we will have to lose our pride and inhibitions. The question is not whether He can be found. The question is, will the press stop us?

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

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