Recently I have thought a lot about the people in the Gospels who chased Jesus and took hold of Him. There are many examples, of course, especially are Bartimaeus (see Mark 10:46-52 and Luke 18:35-43), the Syro-Phoenician woman (Mark 7:24-30 and Matthew 15:21-28, ), the woman with the issue of blood (Matthew 9:20-22, Mark 5:25-33 and Luke 8:43-48) and the Gadarene demoniac (Mark 5:1-20 and Luke 8:26-39).
What impresses me the most about each of these individuals is their persistence in chasing Jesus in the face of opposition or obstacles. Each of them knew that "If I can just chase and get to Jesus, everything will be alright. In fact, the woman with the issue of blood essentially said that, "If only I may touch His clothes I shall be made well." (Mark 5:28 NKJV), so she chased through the crowds (despite being "unclean" because of her issue of blood), even interrupting Jesus on an urgent mission, in order to touch the edge of His robe! Bartimaeus also faced opposition as He chased Jesus with those around him warning him to be quiet. But Bartimaeus shouted all the louder until He captured Jesus' attention. The Syro-Phoenician woman is really amazing in her chase: even Jesus (to draw out her faith) put her off, but she wouldn't give up until He granted her request. But perhaps the most amazing one of all in this group is the Gadarene demoniac. Both Mark and Luke tell us that this man dragged his many demons along with him to chase and to meet Jesus (Mark even says he worshiped Jesus!). Can you imagine the level of satanic opposition this man had to overcome to chase Jesus.
I see in all of these stories an encouragement to chase after Jesus. Yes, theologically I know that as believers Jesus is already with us, in us and we in Him, but there is also a coming to Him that, however you wish to describe it, brings the powerful response of seeing all our needs being met. Each of these people pushed past obstacles and opposition (human and demonic) to chase Jesus until they received what they needed. I wonder how many others in Jesus' day didn't chase Him? It seems to me that even back then there were many folks like those today who urge us to be "realistic" about many things like sickness and disease, having our needs met, by someone we cannot see. They are the ones who didn't see the miracles because they stop chasing the One who would have readily granted it.
So here in the gospels we have examples, examples that should be an encouragement to
Chasing Him, who holds all the secrets to life and blessing. Let's not give up, let's not back down, lets not turn away........but let's chase and find.