This isn’t the first nor will it be the last time that I mention this, but I was really struck today just how much of Jesus’ ministry happens on the move. Either eating dinner in some stranger’s house in a strange city or on the road to a new city or on a boat heading somewhere, Jesus was so rarely ever stationary for any significant amount of time. That idea of being spiritually stationary has really been on my heart and mind for the past few days, how it seems to be out of alignment with the lifestyle of a Christ follower that we see illustrated in the Bible.
All that said, as we continue our look of the book of Luke today, I want to draw your attention to this moment.
Luke 18:35-39 As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind beggar was sitting beside the road. 36 When he heard the noise of a crowd going past, he asked what was happening. 37 They told him that Jesus the Nazarene was going by.38 So he began shouting, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 “Be quiet!” the people in front yelled at him.
I’m gonna cut in right there, because as I was studying this I felt something so strong on my spirit. It was just this thought. “How many stories have stopped right there?” How many times did someone shout “be quiet!” and we shut our mouths? How many times did someone tell us “you’ll never make it” and so we stopped trying? How many dreams stopped right at a point like this, how many identities were shaped by someone yelling discouragement at us?
You know, my journey with God has been going on for a little less than three and a half years now, and one of the things that He’s slowly but surely grown me into is a man who isn’t cut off simply because someone shouts “Be quiet!” to me. On my journey, the voice has often been internal, one of self doubt and self hate, one that was always quick to shut down any inclinations towards authority or greatness. It’s been one of the great miracles of my life to experience a transformation from timidity to Godly strength. I still believe my heart and spirit are as gentle as ever, but God slowly but surely awakened a deep well of authority and power in me that I never dreamed I would experience. So as we rejoin this moment in the Bible, I want you to realize that even if that loud voice, external or internal, has shut you down before, it absolutely doesn’t have to be the case the next time the voice speaks up.
Luke 18:39-43 “Be quiet!” the people in front yelled at him. But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 When Jesus heard him, he stopped and ordered that the man be brought to him. As the man came near, Jesus asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord,” he said, “I want to see!” 42 And Jesus said, “All right, receive your sight! Your faith has healed you.” 43 Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus, praising God. And all who saw it praised God, too.
When the voice of discouragement tries to shout you down, you shout louder. Whatever it takes to get the attention of Jesus. One of the great things we’ve learned in this long study of the book of Luke is the idea of shameless persistence, of continuing to go after things that are worth going after. The blind man was undeterred by those who would shut him up because he knew that what he was making a fuss over was worth more than pleasing the people around him. He was seeking something eternal, and sometimes that means shaking up the temporary situations around us.
The other thing that really shines in this verse for me right now is what healed the blind man.
Luke 18:42 And Jesus said, “All right, receive your sight! Your faith has healed you.”
The faith to push a little further, to ignore the voice of the enemy and shout a little louder, the faith to do the difficult things that life has put on your path. The blind man’s reward for his faith was a miracle healing that changed the course of his entire existence. That’s what tireless, unquenchable faith can do for us. That’s why it’s important, and that’s why it’s so valuable. Faith never goes unrewarded.
I love you guys. I’m having one of those Mondays that gets you pre-exhausted for all the days of the week to come, but as always time spent in the word of God is a refreshing oasis for the spirit.
If you have a prayer request or just need someone to talk to, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.