When Jesus Stops       Luke 18:35 – 43

This is one of those scriptures that digs deep inside of our human-American weaknesses.  I hurt when I read this and ponder it for what God is speaking to us.

It hurts because it highlights a problem that is far too common in our country and our world today.

It hurts because of the way we pretty much ignore those on societies margins.  The Periphery People.

The poor, the dirty, the disabled…those who are different.

Acknowledging them only as habit or an uncontrolled reflex…. like sneeze or hiccup.  A quick nod of the head and twisted smile as we hurry about our business.

We know they are there…. but we don’t want to know they are there

We are all so busy…and so distracted by our phones, personal drama and our “self-absorbed selves” that we often have no clue what is going on around us.

We have seen the videos of people laying in the street bleeding as hundreds of people walk by oblivious to the person in need.

We have heard the text of the Parable of the Good Samaritan where 3 people you should EXPECT to have compassion walked away from a hurting man only to have the last person in the work you would EXPECT to help stop and render aid.

We have all provided an answer to a question that was not asked because we were not really listening.

Perhaps God get so busy He overlooks us or stops listening?  We are made in His image after all.  Right?

Luke 18:35 – 43   “As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant.37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” 38 And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.”42 And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.” 43 And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.”  ESV

NO!   Jesus is not like His FALLEN Creation!

Time after time in the text we find Jesus stopping, or going out of His way, to hear our cries for help!

Our text today is just one of many examples of His compassion and care for us, His wayward children.

  1. UNMET NEEDS

       Blind man begging

Definitely has needs

Begging only income to meet needs

Heard the crowd coming by and asked what was going on

They told him Jesus of Nazareth is passing by, but

He had heard of Jesus before and cried out for Him…. as “Jesus, Son of David” – different than the name he was told.

I bet the blind man was grateFULL to the one who told him about Jesus, Son of David”

He knew his need for Jesus

  1. SOME HELP/MOST HINDER

People tried to shut him up

Just like people try to keep a hurting world from Jesus today

Why?

Who knows how many times they had walked past this poor man and done nothing.

Who knows how many times he had heard their pace quicken as they approached him ….and slowed after they passed.

Who knows how many folks felt a sense of self-righteousness as they tossed a few pennies his way

Maybe they thought he was not worthy.

Maybe they were jealous because they were “In Front”

Maybe they were embarrassed by their inaction

            They COULD have done something but didn’t

They SHOULD have done something but didn’t

They WOULD have done something but didn’t

WHO are we leaving by the ROADSIDE waiting for Jesus to do something?

 We are to be HIS HANDS and HIS FEET and HIS LOVE

 3.    ASK RIGHT …We do not have because we ask wrongly

 What are we missing from God because we are not asking for it or are asking wrongly…… or our asking this so convoluted not even God can figure it out!

James 4:1-10 “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”?  But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”   ESV

Asking Rightly:

Humility

Resist the Devil

Draw near to God

Repent

Cleans your hands

Purify your hearts

**BROKENESS – knowing your need for and depending on God

The blind man was broken of all pride, all he knew was NEED and he had heard that Jesus, the Son of David, could help

No one else had

The blind man was determined and yelled more and louder.  

How hard do you work to be heard by God?

What are you NOT WILLING to submit to find help and hope

  1. JESUS CARES – ASK HIM

Cry out to Him…He will Hear and He will Listen

Jesus asked what he wanted … not what he needed

He wanted to see

He was very clear and straightforward in his request

No flowery intro

No KJV language

No hesitation

No “if you would/want too/ etc

Let me SEE! CLEAR and FERVENT

Jesus said ok…. then see

            The Spoken Word of God

                        His eyes obeyed God and he began to see

                                    When Jesus Stopped

  1. KNOW WHY YOU RECEIVE

What God gives you is not for you

For His glory

To help you follow Him

To draw others to glorify God

So they may follow Him

May 28            Kids Need the Lord    Luke 18:15 – 17

Luke 18:15-17 “Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.   Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”   ESV

 Jesus was traveling to Jerusalem passing between Samaria and Galilee.  There are many cities in this area…one of which is Nazareth, His boyhood home.

Many sought Him out for help, healing and hope.

They even brought their children to Him; a MAJOR break from the traditions and laws of the Temple Elite.  Kids make noise in the temple and make a mess and break stuff and ask a LOT of questions (questions the Temple Elite did not want to be bothered with and/or have to answer)

The disciple rebuked the parents, grandparents, others for bringing the little kids to their Rabbi.

“Get those snot nosed brats out of here and back to the playgrounds where they belong!”

Jesus had a different plan and did a little rebuking of His own!

Jesus knew the heart of the little children AND He knew their needs.

KIDS NEED THE LORD

  • Jesus WANTS the little children to come to Him
    •             Freely
    •             Unhindered

Parents/Grandparents/teachers/church family,     we need to examine how we treat the youngest, weakest, powerless among us!

  • Do we help, hinder or hurt their journey to Christ?
    •                         We hold SUPREME power over them
    •                         What we say they do
    •                         What we do they mimic
    •                         Where we go – they go
    •                         What we prioritize they see as important

We need to examine our families, our parenting, our choices, our church, our EVERYTHING and see if there is anything we are doing to HINDER our children from coming to JESUS!

  • Maybe it is our WORDS.
    • Whether in bad language or just telling them they are too
    • young
  • Maybe it is our PRIORITIES
    • We can easily fall into the trap of making everything else a priority OVER God: sports, sleep, movies, vacation, hobbies, etc
      Maybe it is our ACTIONS
    • Whether in bad behavior or by providing no guidance and
    • accountability or simply by not LIVING God in our homes
  • Maybe it is our ATTITUDES
    • If our attitudes are negative so will be our children’s
    • If our attitude about God and church are negative so will be our children’s

We should do EVERYTHING within our power to ENCOURAGE our kids towards God!

KIDS NEED THE LORD

AS we do this, we will see a change in us, we will become like the little children loving and trusting God in a simple heartfelt faith.

It is the “grown Ups” who forget how to love and receive.  We have developed hard hearts and QUESTION EVERYTHING that is offered us.  “If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is!”

We have been hurt, beaten, abused, trampled, cast aside, overlooked, underappreciated, taken advantage of and used by just about every HUMAN we have ever met.  WE DON’T NEED ANY MORE DISAPPOINTMENTS!

We are afraid to open up and be vulnerable yet again because we fear being hurt or harmed.

It is out of our life experiences – good and bad/ joyful and painful that we lead our children

Children usually do not carry this fear.

  • They are willing to believe that God is exactly who He says He is!
  • They understand that God will never lie to them or let them down
  • They know that God will never leave them or forsake them
  • They understand that God LOVES them and wants the very best for their lives.
    • Kids UNDERSTAND God.
    • KIDS NEED THE LORD
    • YOU need the LORD!

Today we will celebrate the achievement of our children, young and old.  We will encourage them in their motivation and hard work to achieve the goals we celebrate.

Have we encouraged them towards Jesus and Celebrated their journey into His Grace?

The Kingdom of God belongs to those who receive God’s Grace as a little child.

10 years old or 100 years old, the same Grace of Holy God is available for you.

Cast away the hardness and negativity of the world and receive God’s Love as a little child receives Him and LIVE!

Maybe this text is about how we treat the smallest and weakest among us…those with no power and no real say……do we push them back….do we push them down?   Do we push them FORWARD?  Do we somehow reserve “The Best part” for the grown ups?

Do we push them to God?