"As Jesus and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jerico, Barthimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, be he cried out even more loudly, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" Jesus stood still and said, "Call him here." And they called the bland man, saying to him, "Take heart; get up, he is calling you." So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, "what do you want me to do for you?" The blind man said to him, "My teacher, let me see again."
This story contains a powerful invitation and a challenging call. First, place yourself in the shoes of the blind man. He is hurting. The crowd is all around him but he feels passed by. His physical challenge has caused financial and relational struggle. He asks Jesus to have mercy on him. Mercy is a beautiful word which encompasses so much. He is asking Jesus to hear him, to see his situation, to have compassion, and to act in love to change his reality. Jesus does have mercy for him, hears and sees him, is moved by his condition, and heals him.
As you journey through this week know that Jesus is not just passing through but is eager to dwell with you in the midst of your challenges. You, like the blind man, have Jesus' ears and eyes. You too can call out, "Teacher, have mercy on me!" Be specific in your call. Ask for the healing of body, mind, spirit, or relationships. Ask for Christ's mercy to cover and mend whatever needs to be made whole. Listen for the Lords response, "Go, your faith has made you well."
The story has a second invitation as well. We are often so eager to celebrate Barthimaeus' healing and invite our own healing that we miss the communal element. The blind man was surrounded by people yet he was alone. When he first called out to Jesus even those in Jesus' in crowd (who should have know the heart of Christ by now) pushed the man aside. Jesus challenged his followers saying, "Call him here." Jesus did not want anyone, especially this man who was hurting, to be pushed aside. Rather Jesus invited his friends to join Him in his work of inviting. They got to be a part of the healing by inviting the man to come close.
Consider who in your life is feeling some distance between themselves and the Lord, or the church, or community. Keep your eyes open, less you be spiritually blind to those in need of an embrace or a welcome. Join Jesus in His healing work by inviting those who are distant to come close through worship, or prayer, or relationship with you.
May this autumn be a season of receiving and extending Christ's mercy!
Pastor Jenny & Pastor Scott
Lord have mercy on....
Those having surgery
Adults and children who are undergoing cancer treatment
Families who are grieving
Those who are working hard to extend mercy to loved ones who need care, children in need, seniors, and the poor
Refugees and all who are affected by war, disease, poverty, and hate.