Give and Take, Take and Give

53 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there. 54 As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus. 55 They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56 And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed. Mark 6:53-56

Jesus was very generous with His limited and energy. After news spread yet again that He was in town, they flocked to hear and see him. This time, though, they knew that only touching Him would heal them.

Very few, however, wanted to touch Jesus for being who He was, as in our culture, we just might want to shake someone’s hand as a touching gesture. No, they were coming for what He could do for them. Ironic, then, that He would teach that loving others would be so important.

The disciples saw what was going on. They saw His generosity and putting up with people that “took” from Him all day long. They also saw Him retreat when He needed a break from the masses.

Later we’ll see people tending to Him – Mary and Martha both come to mind. But those who put Him first throughout the Gospel narrative are few and far between. The givers are the exception and not the norm, especially in the heat of ministry.

The relationships Jesus had with the people were “one-offs”. He would probably never see them this side of heaven again.

However, with the disciples, they absorbed knowledge and experience from Jesus, while Jesus received satisfaction that they were learning and would one day do what He was doing.

We all know this truth, but you will have people who take take take from you if you let them. Their expectations from you are high and they’ll voice their disappointment in you if you let them down. Every healthy relationship is give and take. A one-sided relationship is quite unhealthy for all involved.

Seek to broaden your existing relationship so that it’s give and take. Since you probably knows what the unhealthy, one-sided relationship looks like, pray for those around you who are in such a situation. You may not be in a position other than to pray, but pray you must.

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