I’m going to be a little raw. I’ve been wrestling with God about this whole “Jesus Is My Candidate” campaign/idea/thing that hasn’t seemed to go anywhere at least in the grandiose large-scale sense that I hoped it might. I got called out yesterday for promoting myself after I sent out a mass facebook message about the campaign and this new Election Day Communion idea to an eclectic group of pastors , some of whom I have enough rapport with to humor me and bear my silliness with patience, but some of whom I apparently don’t. I’ve been reflecting on whether and to what degree this campaign is reducible to my narcissism. I’m grateful for getting called out as I told the person who did it; otherwise I would never learn. But to some degree, I don’t think you can be a preacher without being a self-aware narcissist. Otherwise how could you stand up in front of a group of people every week to speak on behalf of God with any authority? It is a constant brutal struggle with pride. I don’t know how to be a good steward of what God gives me to share with the world other than to kick and scream and bang on every door I can find. Please unfriend/unfollow me if you have a problem with that. So far I’ve had one famous Christian writer get on twitter to make fun of what I was trying to promote and another one say that she would block me if I tweeted directly to her about things like this since I was exploiting her platform. In any case, as I was feeling resentful, flustered, and confused this morning, I remembered a story in which Jesus showed that He wasn’t stingy with His platform.
Jesus was an important celebrity preacher and important people wanted His attention. If He were around today, His personal email address would not be available to the public or if it was, then the office interns would be the ones reading and responding to all the healing requests and theological questions and invitations to preach. Jesus dined with the big dogs, whether in the civil world (Matthew and Zacchaeus, the uber-wealthy tax collectors) or in the religious world (Nicodemus and Simon the Pharisees). In Mark 5, Jesus went to visit a town where a synagogue leader named Jairus immediately ran up to Him begging for Him to come to heal his daughter. So Jesus was getting ready to go, but then something happened.
A woman who had suffered from internal bleeding for decades and had gone through all her money trying to get healed was tired of waiting in line and being ignored. So she reached out and snatched Jesus’ robe, and sure enough it healed her. Now Jesus could have just let it go and kept walking, but He wanted this sign of God’s power to be publicly acknowledged. So He called out to the crowd saying, “Who touched me?” The woman came forward, trembling with fear, and He said, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” In seminary, we talked about this passage and the way that Jesus wasn’t content to heal this woman only physically; she needed to be healed socially as well. He called her out so that all the people who had completely ignored her up until that moment would see her and respect her dignity. He was willing to use His platform to elevate her dignity even though it meant that Jairus’ daughter died while He was delayed and He had to bring her back to life.
I’m aware that it’s a big stretch to compare a story about how Jesus healed a poor woman with a devastating health condition with my attempts to promote a campaign that hopefully is about glorifying Jesus and not myself. But I sure would love it if someone with a big platform and sphere of influence were willing to let me snatch onto their cloak. Based on what this passage says about Jesus, I know that if He had a blog today and He got a facebook message from some random scrub associate pastor who hadn’t paid his dues and had no right to deserve an audience, then Jesus wouldn’t be stingy with His platform.