This was my jail Bible study last week. I’ve been thinking about it since then, about how it was really more for me than for them maybe. I went in with a friend. We usually go up with two of us. I led. My friend used to be in federal prison for like eight years. Jesus got a hold of her in a big way there and she has such a soft heart for people. She has yet to really tell her testimony. I can’t wait until she does. It will be powerful.
We had three different groups of women, so I led this three different times. Some women can’t get along with each other, and all together the little room we meet in would be too full. I like the intimate nature of groups of three and four because we can really interact. It’s a county jail and most of the women are Native American. We chatted for awhile. I’ve been going in leading studies on Sunday nights for over 17 years now, and some have been in and out of jail almost that long.
My thread was about people who wanted to get to Jesus so bad they were willing to do almost anything to do it. The first was from Luke 5:18-20. That’s where the four guys lower the paralytic guy down through the roof because the house was too crowded to get to Jesus. In verse 20 it says, “And when He saw their faith He said, ‘Man, your sins are forgiven you.” It never really struck me before Jesus saw their faith. And maybe the four guys were changed that day too. Or maybe they encountered Jesus before. But they were desperate enough for their buddy to get healed that they sawed a hole through a roof. That’s audacity and desperacy.
The next scenario we looked at was Luke 7:36-50, the woman who washed Jesus feet with her hair, tears and ointment. She busted into a dinner party of Pharisees and was willing to cut through put down’s and maybe getting tossed out so she could do something they would never do. In washing His feet with her tears, she got to His heart and He got to hers. Jesus turned to her and said that He knew she loved Him much and that though her sins were many, she was forgiven much. The Pharisees didn’t get that. But they weren’t willing to get to Jesus like she was either. Are you? Am I?
The third person we looked at was a another desperate woman. She’s told about in Luke 8:42-48. Do you notice none of these people get names? This one is “the bleeding woman.” She had ‘an issue of blood’ for 12 years. If you want to get a room full of women going, read that story. She thought, ‘if I could just touch the hem of His garment.’ And she did and ‘boom!’ she was healed. She had to push through a big crowd to get to Jesus.
What do you have to push through to get to Jesus? I have push through a busy schedule, other people’s demands, through stupid distractions, through crowds, traffic, tiredness, laziness and all kinds of things just to get to Him. There are times when I find myself saying inside “I just have to sit with Jesus.” Sometimes I want to scream it. Other times my soul whispers it.
To the women in jail, I encourage them to get radical to get to Jesus. They will do whatever it takes to get to a party or to get a hit of drugs, or to get a boyfriend. Jesus said in Matthew 5:29-30 that if your right eye or right hand causes you to sin to cut it off. That’s radical! We have to be radical to get away from sin and we have to be radical to get to Jesus. Unconventional, desperate, audacious. We have to saw holes in roof tops, break into dinner parties and push through crowds.
Do whatever it takes, but get to Jesus and hold on tight.