There are a number of times in the gospel accounts that individuals are found begging Jesus. They came to Him with strong imploring. They came with a strong desire for Him to do certain things for them. Consider some great lessons we can learn by looking to occasions when people came begging Jesus.
Begging Jesus to leave
Matthew, Mark, and Luke all record the miracle of Jesus healing the man who was possessed by a multitude of demons. In combing the record of each, we find that the demon-possessed man had not worn clothes for a long period of time, did not live in a house, but in the tombs (large rooms hewn out of rocks), and that people had in the past tried to restrain him, but always without success. The demons recognized the power of Jesus and begged Him to send them into a herd of swine (Matthew 9:31). After allowing them to enter the swine, they ran down a bank and drowned in water. Matthew 9:34 says, “The whole city came out to meet Jesus. And when they saw Him, they begged Him to depart from their region.” After hearing the report of first-hand witnesses, seeing the man who had been demon-possessed now sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind (Luke 8:35); they begged Jesus to leave their region. How sad indeed that after seeing the undeniable power and compassion of Jesus, the multitude begged Jesus to leave. How sad indeed that so many still today fail to see the power and compassion of Jesus and do the same!
Begging Jesus to stay
The man who had been demon-possessed did some begging of his own. He begged Jesus to allow him to stay with Him (Luke 8:38). How tormented the workers of Satan had been to him and how deep his love for Jesus must have grown. He came to recognize Jesus as his Savior, the One who delivered him from such excruciating bondage. As we try to put ourselves in his shoes, it seems easy to understand why he would beg Jesus to be able to stay with Him. Oh friend, may we be honest enough with ourselves to see Jesus for who He truly is and to ask – do I really want Him to stay in my life or am I living in such a way that I am actually begging Him to leave? Afterall, He alone can deliver us, and has delivered us from the bondage to Satan to find freedom from sin in Him (Romans 11:26; 2 Corinthians 1:10; Galatians 1:4; Colossians 1:13). Our words, actions, and overall state of mind reveal how we really feel toward the Lord.
Begging Jesus to help others
In Matthew 14:34-36, Jesus entered the land of Gennesaret and when the people there knew that Jesus had come, they brought Him all who were sick and begged Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched it were made perfectly well. Jairus, begged Him earnestly that He would come to heal his 12-year-old daughter who was at the point of death (Mark 5:22-23). It is certainly important to see Jesus as the One who can help us, but we must also be willing to see Jesus as the help that all people need. The idea of these verses is that the people who were well brought the people who were sick to Jesus. As Christians, may we never be content with the salvation we have found in Jesus, but help all that we can to find salvation in Him, too!
– Adam Orr