He always meets people exactly where they are, addressing their most pressing need first. He has these incredible eyes (I mean, he is God after all, so this is not surprising) that see beyond what is at face value, and he identifies the deepest immediate need of each person he encounters. Often this is physical, often emotional, and sometimes spiritual. The spiritual need is always there of course, but Jesus shows us that the most effective way to minister, and to begin to unlock the fullness of God's character in we broken ones who bear his image, is usually to meet those other needs first.
I have been reminded of this lately as my belly has grown and my fingers have swollen and my back has ached. I have been thankful to have experienced good health my whole life, so pregnancy is the only time I have really had a seriously altered bodily state. A healthy one, thankfully, but a taxing one nonetheless. The physical and emotional demands of it can somewhat overtake the rational part of my brain at times. For example, I may be unable to think clearly about things until I can get some relief from the physical discomfort of not being able to breathe well, or some support in the very emotional decisions that accompany pregnancy and childbirth.
Because we are not God, as He is--we get distracted by these things. Little things. But in our limited humanity, big things.
T.Mark's favorite bedtime story is "Kee-us" (if we are phonetically speaking). Also known as Zacchaeus, or "The Man Who Was Too Little." In his encounter with the socially outcast tax collector in Luke 19, Jesus' first interaction with him is to address his social need for acceptance. Out of all the people who I'm sure were clamoring for Jesus' attention, for the chance to sit down and eat with him--Jesus picks Zacchaeus out of the crowd and says in front of everyone-"I am going to your house today." Zacchaeus must have felt so proud. His response to it indicates the depth of his feelings. He immediately announces his plans to pay back all the people he has taken advantage of. Jesus' meeting that deep social need is the impetus that changes Zacchaeus on a much deeper level.
I pray that I can develop this kind of needs-based, Christlike eyesight. And that I will be able to get out of myself enough to realize that Jesus meets all the needs that I have that can seem so overwhelming at times.
Just for fun--reading "Kee-us" all by himself:
I hope you remember today that whatever your deepest need may be, Jesus meets you there, and He is enough.