What’s a leech? An online dictionary defines it in this way: – “a person who clings to another for personal gain usually with the implication or effect of exhausting the other’s resources.”
The first things first: God loves Scary People! You may have Scary People at work or in your family but the truth is we are all scary in some way. We are imperfect human beings. God loves you and them more than you could ever imagine.
The problem I have dealing with a person that is leech is that they often want more than I can give. As a human, my emotions, time, money and energy all have limits. When I can’t give someone what they want, I feel guilty. That is my struggle.
What I find interesting is that Jesus didn’t grant every request or do everything that everyone wanted. He cared for people, yes. “When Jesus saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion” Matt 9:36. This term “moved with compassion” is the strongest word in the Greek language for compasssion. He deeply cares for people.
But he left some people unhealed. He left some physical needs unmet. He didn’t grant every request. Watch this:
“That evening after sunset, many sick and demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus. The whole town gathered at the door to watch. So Jesus healed many people who were sick with various diseases, and he cast out many demons. Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. Later Simon and the others went out to find him, when they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.” But Jesus replied, “We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. That is why I came.” Mark 1:32-38 (NLT)
The crowds wanted to see Jesus the next morning, not to hear His word, but to experience His healing and see Him perform miracles.
Jesus is showing us how to take time to rest physically, emotionally and spiritually. There are needs all around us but we must be healthy to be helpful.
They went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: ‘Everyone is looking for you!'” This was no surprise to Jesus. When they found him they mildly reproached him. The idea was, “Jesus, things are going great last night. Let’s get back out there!” But Jesus was not interested. “Jesus replied, ‘Let’s go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.”
Peter was surprised that Jesus did not hurry to meet the crowds but instead left for other towns where He might preach the Gospel. Jesus said it was more important for Him to preach the Gospel in other places than to stay there and heal the sick. He did not permit popular acclaim to change His priorities.
The healing heart of Jesus was not as interested in physical healing as in spiritual healing. He refused to let his disciples or the people own him as just their physical healer, but went out in the country preaching the gospel of belief and repentance. Jesus did heal people and still heals today. But physical healings are temporal at best. What Jesus emphasized was the healing of the spirit of people in salvation. Ultimately, the healing of the human spirit is eternal!
Two things I learn from this passage:
1. There must be balance in caring for others and caring for myself. I need to care for people and meet needs but I also need time for rest, reflection and worship. Jesus is my model. There needs to be time away from constant demands and deadlines that others have.
2. There is a big difference between what people want and what they need. A person may say, “I want you to help me with my $400-a-month car payment,” where the real need may be a budget or a cheaper car. They may want something, but they may need something else. They may say, “I want you to make me happy.” What they need is to find happiness with who they are in Christ. And most importantly, and Jesus is my model, a person’s greatest need is spiritual, not physical. Too often we want so much physically that we don’t have to depend on Jesus spiritually.
So, here you are. You want to help. There’s somebody that you care about that wants something but you are not sure if you can provide all they want. If you don’t remember anything else, remember this. Jesus is the Savior, not you. You can’t save or rescue – Jesus does. You do your best to meet people’s needs as God leads, but when it’s time to rest, you rest. When it’s time to move on, move on. When you can’t give them what they want, you don’t feel guilty. And at the end of the day when someone is in ultimate need and nowhere to turn, they need Jesus and He is the One who will meet their needs.
For more about Scary People or The Leech go to www.ridgefellowship.com