R E A C H: an unnecessary but voluntary extension of one’s self in order to make impactful contact with someone or something else
Jesus was all about reach.
Again and again throughout the Bible, Jesus was reaching into people’s messes and pulling them up. For example, in Mark 1:40-45, a leper came to him on his knees in total helpless surrender. Jesus REACHED down to him and purified the man. He met the man’s brokenness with compassion.
The average human would look at the man in disgust. Lepers are the kind of people that parents would quickly usher their kids away from or hurriedly walk past with a sense of fake urgency to get somewhere.
And don’t we do this in modern day all the time? We see a person who seems sick, mean, or in a real tough spot, and we just bolt. It’s really easy to do this in college. With so many people, it’s super convenient to see something unfortunate and just KEEP WALKING. You justify your actions by thinking, “oh this campus has over 30,000 students…I’m sure someone will help them. I bet they have friends. Plus, I’ve really got to get going. I have places to be and people to see.”
What we often don’t realize is that taking an extra five minutes out of our day to help someone could change every single minute of the rest of someone’s LIFE. Now, I know this sounds like quite a stretch. But isn’t that what reaching is? STRETCHING beyond the limits of what feels comfortable and possible?
Then again, how could 5 minutes really change a whole life? That just doesn’t make any sense by logical human standards.
However, that’s because we are forgetting Jesus. As referenced to in the opening paragraph (Mark 1:40-45), Jesus doesn’t even need five minutes to change an entire life…..more like just five seconds.
See, when we forget the power of Jesus, we consequentially forget that Jesus still works miracles. We forget that WE, His Followers down here on earth, are His HANDS and FEET to do these crazy things.
Why? Because out of a place of complacency, it’s easy to just lose faith and decide not to believe that miracles or significant changes are possible…so we don’t even try. This is what happens when we see someone hurting on campus and decide to keep walking. We may end up missing a miracle….simply because we didn’t BELIEVE it was possible. We DENY reaching in FEAR of being disappointed or wasting our time.
But what if we didn’t?
What if we reached? Think about what happened when Jesus reached. He reached out for that leper and made him pure- giving him a whole new life. But yet we often forget that we are ALL the equivalent of that man with leprosy- broken and shameful of the sins we carry. But Jesus REACHED past the barrier between us and God through dying on the cross for our sins. This redemption was the ultimate form of REACH.
Yet a lot of us know this fact…and have known it since we were kids.
However, what we often MOST forget from these childhood lessons is that when Jesus reaches down to us in our brokenness, He intends for us to REACH out to OTHERS in their brokenness as well. He USES us to increase His REACH in the world.
See, Jesus is STILL all about reach. It didn’t stop when He left earth. It simply continued through the extraordinary use of His ordinary followers…as it still does TODAY.
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. -2 Corinthians 5:20