Becoming a disciple: starting blind

Scripture – Mark 10:50

Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.

Observation

Blind guy. Bartimaeus. Begging outside the gates of Jericho. All he had to his name was the clothes he was wearing and a cloak which was his bed, his pillow, his comforter, his seat. It was all he had.

He demonstrated his faith by throwing aside the only thing that he had, the only thing that gave him any sense of comfort. His identity as a blind guy was wrapped up in his cloak. Throwing it aside meant there was no going back. This was it. He’d never be able to find it again anyway.

Application

What am I still holding onto that is my cloak, my safety blanket, that prevents me from fully flinging myself at Jesus’ feet? Have a fully recognized how truly blind I was? Can I truly see with fresh eyes or am I simply ambling along with the crowd, following the voice of Jesus, carrying my cloak.

I want see fully. I want eyes to see not just ears to hear.

Prayer

Father, I recognize how blind and pathetic I am. Show me any blankets I’m still holding onto and give me courage and faith to throw them aside never to be found again. I fling myself at your feet today, crying out for mercy and for my eyes to be opened. I want to truly see Jesus so I can not just follow at a distance but be right by his side. Thank you for Bartimaeus son of Timaeus and his story. Love you God, amen.

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Becoming a disciple: Being compassionate over being strategic

Scripture – Matthew 9:27-30

And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” When he entered the house, the blind men came to him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, “See that no one knows about it.”

Observation

It’s really interesting that Jesus tells the two guys whose sight he’d just restored not to let anyone know about it. I’m thinking it’s going to be pretty obvious that the blind guys weren’t walking into things anymore or needing a stick to get about. The meaning of the word Jesus used as he “sternly warned them” is pretty strong – kind of a no-nonsense command. Why did he not want everyone and his dog know about these two guys receiving their sight? There is something significant about healing blindness – it was essentially affirming that he was the Messiah, fulfilling the prophecies about him coming to bring sight to the blind. This is the first time he healed someone who was blind, and he knew that as the word spread, people would want to proclaim him as the guy who was going to overthrow the Romans and establish his leadership of Israel.

So, if Jesus knew the two men who were healed were going to spread the news across the region, why did he heal them? Compassion. Jesus is full of compassion and when people come to him with faith and ask for him to touch them, even though it might make the mission more awkward or difficult, his love and compassion for people is what he’s all about.

Application

Even when I know stopping to talk with, pray for or just listen to someone, is going to hinder the greater vision and mission of what I’m trying to do, I know I need to allow the Holy Spirit to give me the compassion for people that Jesus has – because in the end, people are what we’re here for.

Prayer

Jesus, I need your compassion. Give me the peace I need to be un-strategic for the sake of having compassion on people. I am a vessel for you to use. Thank you for teaching me to be more like you each day. I love you mentoring and discipling me. All for you. Amen.