Jesus Stopped.Those two words have tugged at my heart all week. This past Sunday, Pastor Rich, spoke on Mark 10:46-52. These six verses are tucked in between the details of Christ’s miracles and his triumphal entry in to Jerusalem. These six verses ,which I have never read before, have so captured my attention that I must share it with you.
As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city of Jericho, a blind name named Bartimaeus was sitting along 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 stoppedand said, “Call him.” So they called the blind man, “Get up! He’s calling you!” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. Jesus asked him “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said, “I want to see.” “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
Jesus stopped. Those two word continue to echo in my heart as powerful, mighty, and convicting. This morning I sit in darkness waiting and watching for the sun to rise. I watch as the stars fade away as the sky brightens. I am reminded that all our burdens fade in the presence of God’s love.
Jesus stopped. Jesus was constantly interrupted during his day. I never realized how many times he was interrupted until I began counting the interruptions. As an experiment I began reading the book of Mark and found over 20 interruptions just in the first eleven chapters. Everywhere he preached, whether in a formal setting like the synagogue or an informal setting like someones home, his teachings were interrupted. Often times, he taught as he walked from one place to another (like in this story) and again he was interrupted. People in the crowd pressed in to receive a healing touch. Friends lowered their sick friend down from the roof, for a special healing, in the middle of his teaching! How rude! So many interruptions all the time. I found myself getting aggravated as I read. I thought to myself “Let the man finish a sentence!” But what really irritated me was when he was interrupted while trying to have some peace and quiet or to eat a meal. My family jokes that the majority of the time the reason I get grumpy is when I’m hungry or tired. Yet, Christ never shows any irritation with people, only love.
Last week at work I was ask to document what I thought was the number one cause for prescription errors. My response, it may surprise you, interruptions! This concept of interruptions is very fresh in my mind in light of my recent documentation. During my research on the topic of Christ’s interruptions throughout his ministry I found an insightful excerpt by Rebecca Jordon written in her book 40 Days in God’s Presence: A Devotional Encounter.
“Interruptions represented people and people were his business. People were his purpose. Interruptions spelled out opportunities to display his Father’s great power and love.”
How would my day be different if every time I was interrupted, either at work or at home, I chose to not to be aggravated by the intrusion. What if I put other people’s needs on my daily “to do list.” How would my day be different if I look at interruptions the way Christ did, as opportunities to help people and display the God’s love.
God’s greatest display of love for us was the cross. Even when Christ was being crucified between two criminals, his prayers were being interrupted. One man interrupted his final prayers by mocking him. The other, interrupted his prayer by saying, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” The very last recorded words spoken to another human being was his reply “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:42-42. Christ’s life was interrupted by the cross. Even on the cross, in great agony and unbelievable pain, he showed that people were his business.
What if we spoke out like the blind beggar? What would happen if we spoke up in prayer and said “God have mercy on me!” I believe Jesus still wants to stop and ask “What do you want me to do for you?”
“May you and I be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” Romans 1:12