He welcomed them …
Life can be brutal sometimes. People can be cruel. And there are days when you wonder where Jesus is, and whether he is really doing anything at all. Yes, we wonder.
Then there’s the matter of our sins. If you are beaten down because of your failures and mad at yourself because of your sins—well, what if you read today’s Scripture every morning for a week, or even a month, and pictured yourself in it?
Big things are happening; Jesus’ ministry is gaining momentum. The disciples, like a championship sports team, are on a winning streak. And Jesus is just now on a leadership retreat with his disciples. He has purposely come to Bethsaida, a quiet place, to avoid people.
But now he looks up and sees you, along with a multitude, coming. If there was a time for Jesus not to want to see you coming, this would probably be it—you and lots of other messed-up people, all dusty and sweaty and smelly. You all need food. You all need to be taken care of. Here you come.
And Jesus welcomes you. Can you believe that? He welcomes you. Though I can’t prove it, I think he is probably smiling.
Happiness starts with knowing that Jesus welcomes you. He welcomes you now, to himself and to his family. Someday, when you die, he will see you coming, and he will still welcome you. Yes, he will.
I am glad for this, Lord—that, despite my sins, you welcome me. I believe it. With my whole heart I say thank you. Amen.
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