And Jesus stood still*

Down the long, dusty road on their way from Jericho to Jerusalem, almost two thousand years ago, trod Jesus with his motley band of twelve disciples, followed by a huge crowd.

They were all hot and sweaty. The dust clung to them. They were weary, but Jesus was at the height of his popularity, and the great crowd of people pressed close to him. They were jabbering endlessly. Asking questions. Seeking favors. They could be heard a mile away.

“Hey, what’s all the noise?” blind Bartimaeus asked his friend as they sat by the roadside begging.

“I don’t know,” answered his friend with a puzzled tone in his voice.

“Let’s ask someone,” they agreed.

“It’s Jesus,” a passerby informed them.

“You mean Jesus of Nazareth, the fellow they claim can heal the sick and the blind?” Bartimaeus excitedly asked.

“That’s the one,” the man said, “and I’m on my way to see him. Good-bye.”

The crowd came closer and closer. Excitement filled the air. The noise became intense.

“I can’t believe it,” shouted Bartimaeus to another friend. “This just has to be my lucky day. I’ve got to get to Jesus; I know he can heal me.”

“Hey, Bart, there he is,” cried Bartimaeus’s friend, “but how will you ever get his attention?”

Dignity was dismissed. “This is it,” said Bartimaeus, “I may never see Jesus again and I desperately want to be healed.”

So, seeking to drown out the noise of the crowd, Bartimaeus yelled at the top of his voice, “Jesus, have mercy on me! O Lord, son of David, have mercy on me!”

“Cool it, man! Shut up!” retorted some of the crowd. “You’re making too much noise. You don’t stand a chance of getting to Jesus, so just relax and quit your stupid yelling!”

But Bartimaeus was all the more determined to get to Jesus. He couldn’t see, but he could yell. He cried out all the louder. Hear his voice rise above the din of the crowd. It rings out like a great clarion call, “Jesus, O Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! Jesus, O Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

And Jesus stood still.

And the crowds stood still.

And a great calm settled down over them all.

The winds and the waves couldn’t stop Jesus. Neither could angry mobs. Crowds of people couldn’t stop him either. But a lone, blind beggar could—and did.

And Jesus with his great heart of compassion asked for Bartimaeus to be brought to him.

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked.

“Lord,” Bartimaeus replied, “please give me my sight.” And Jesus did!

“Go your way,” he said, “your faith has made you whole.”

Friend, what do you want Jesus to do for you? Are you as determined as Bartimaeus was? Am I?

Suggested prayer: “Dear God, have mercy on me a sinner. Hear the cry of my heart. Please save me from sinfulness. Heal my wounded spirit and fill my empty heart with your love, joy and peace. Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me too. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus’ name, amen.”

*from the The Daily Encounter http://www.actsweb.org/encounter/daily.php

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