You’ve often heard it said that Christians should always “stand on the Word of God.” But, exactly what does that mean to you? Most often I find myself in the position of “easier said then done.” I would like to share a recent experience that lead up to this topic of “standing on the Word of God.” How it came about was most unusual, as it quite often is. It started with my Maytag washer going on the fritz. For whatever reason, our washer decided not to empty during the spin cycle. Being the man that I am I waited two days before I called a repairman. I guess I thought if I waited it would fix itself. Now I realize that I was only procrastinating. When I finally called the repairman, I was told he would come on Monday between 8:00 am and 12:00 pm. Don’t you love these types of appointments? Now I’m trapped in the house and locked into someone else’s schedule. Little did I know that it was actually God’s schedule that I was on and He had an appointment for me.
One of the most powerful and wonderful things about Jesus’s ministry is how He took everyday occurrences and saw them as teachable moments to bring out life’s lessons. Jesus, in His humanity, showed how God intended for us to be towards one another … compassionate and loving. A great example of this is …
BLIND BARTIMAETUS RECEIVES HIS SIGHT (Mark 10:46-52)
Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
This poor, blind beggar – when he heard from the crowd that Jesus of Nazareth was approaching – cried out in a loud voice “Jesus Son of David have mercy on me.” Imagine how Bartimaeus may have felt hearing the people around him, who had their sight, yelling for him to be quiet. These people could see Jesus with their physical eyes but really didn’t know who they were seeing. Bartimaeus could have succumb to the pressure of the crowd and held his peace. He no doubt had had his share of humiliation is his life time of begging. But he was not going to allow the judgement of others to squelch his faith in Jesus the Son of God. He cried all the more for mercy, until Jesus said, “Call him.” Then, the crowd changed their tune and told Bartimaeus to stop crying and to go to Jesus. Isn’t it amazing how fast public opinion can change as a result of one person’s steadfast faith?
I just came off a business trip in Manhattan with my wife and my two precious little girls, Emma Grace and Ella. New York is quite the city. Each time we travel there I learn something new about myself. I get the “I Love New York” slogan more now then ever. It is truly a city that never sleeps. On any given day or night, you’ll find there are wall to wall people walking around. Before I knew it, we became those people.
It was a Sunday morning and I had intended for our family to walk down to Broadway and 79th Street to attend the eleven o’clock morning services at The First Baptist Church. But we were all exhausted from the packing and unpacking involved in several weeks of traveling on the road. We are truly blessed to be able to travel together on business as a family. But this was our final trip of the summer and it was taking its toll. As a result we over slept and missed the eleven o’clock service. So when we were all up and dressed I said, “Why don’t we go out for a family breakfast?” The girls were excited because in our travels I bought them each a Razor Scooter to ride. They had gotten quite good at navigating the sidewalks of New York City and they blended right in with the dozens of other children riding on their scooters.