You who dwell in the garden with friends in attendance,let me hear your voice.
Song of Songs 8:13
I have always been amazed that despite the extensive healing ministry Jesus carried out in his life time on this earth He was rejected by His own people. I read the other day “Jesus rejection on earth mirrors our rejection of Him”. I want to draw your attention to a situation where Jesus is still rejected in His own land before asking to think about your own life and actions.
Its Mission Statement states: ‘St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group operates an ophthalmic hospital in Jerusalem and is the only charitable provider of expert eye care in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, treating patients regardless of ethnicity, religion or ability to pay.’ The key words are: ‘regardless of ethnicity, religion or ability to pay.’
The need for high quality eye care is as essential today in the Middle East as it was in Jesus time. However many of the Palestinians treated are unable to meet the costs involved for treatment themselves and so rely on support from the Palestinian Authority and the UNRWA. It is sad then that in January this year the US stated that it will provide $60m in aid to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) but will hold back a further $65m of the $125m instalment due as well as threatening to withdraw or cut funding to the Palestinian Authority altogether. Since the Hospital gets $600,000 annually from UNRWA to cover patient’s costs with a further $2,721,900 coming from USAID to the Palestinian Authority the effect of those cuts real or threatened is not hard to see. Equally some patients need to access the main hospital in Jerusalem, but the number of patients or their companions being delayed or denied their permit to travel out of Gaza for medical treatment rose to 51% in 2017(from 33% in 2016) The number of operations in Gaza therefore, increased by 64%. Of course, there are two sides to every story. The Israelis are concerned to protect themselves from attack by the Palestinians, for example. Yet it does appear that Jesus is rejected in His own land once again.
Now, it is easy to point the finger at others, indeed, Jesus had a few words to say about that! 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. Matthew 7:3-5 KJV
Please have a look at the Eye Hospital website https://www.stjohneyehospital.org/ and help in any way you can. But look closer to home and ask yourself honestly when, where and how have I rejected Jesus? More importantly what am I going to do about it?
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years