Daily Devotional – Tuesday, June 15, 2021
“When Jesus heard the man, he stopped and ordered that he be brought to him. As the man came near, Jesus asked him, 41 ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ The blind man replied, ‘Lord, I want to see!’ 42 And Jesus said, ‘All right, receive your sight! Your faith has healed you.’” (Luke 18:40-42, NLT)
A blind man hears a commotion and asks to know what’s going on. People tell him that Jesus is passing by. The man begins to call out trying to get Jesus’ attention. The response of the people demonstrates an incredible lack of empathy; in no uncertain terms, he is told to, “Shut up!” But he’s having none of it. He learned a long time ago that if he wanted anything in life, he needed to advocate for himself. People tended to ignore him, push him aside and out of the way, and only on the rare occasion did he receive their pity.
In this one short story, it becomes clear that those crowding around Jesus, traveling with him as his entourage, trying to catch every word he said, had no compassion for this blind man. It is likely that the man was told, “Be quiet and don’t disturb the teacher,” but the reality was that it was more likely their intent to shut him up because he was preventing them from hearing. This blind man was preventing them from getting what they wanted. “How rude for him to be trying to catch Jesus’ attention for himself”…or so they thought.
As he persistently calls out, as loud as he can, trying to have Jesus notice him, he is finally heard and Jesus tells the same people who had been telling this man to ‘shut up,’ now to go and bring him. Jesus readily heals the man in response to his faith and he joins those walking along with Jesus. It struck me as I reread this passage, just how hard the blind man had to work against Jesus’ followers to be able to meet with Jesus. The very people who should have said, ‘You want to meet Jesus? Here let me help you,’ were instead the ones blocking his way.
We as the human race can be incredibly selfish…treating the needs of others as inconveniences to be ignored. And when a voice is raised that disturbs us, our first instinct is often to silence it. If the needs of another conflict with our own, we often default to our self-interest, “I, me and mine” setting. Maybe that is why Jesus was crystal clear on one of the overriding principles he taught, that we must ‘treat others the way we want to be treated’ (Luke 6:31). He had no intention for us to simply treat this command as a nice sentiment to be taught to children or to be put on bookmarks and posters. It is to become a guiding principle for all those who claim to be following in the footsteps of Jesus. It is to become so ingrained in us, that it overwrites the ‘selfish’ programming of our heart. It should cause us to bring others who wish to see Jesus to Him, not pushing them out of the way as mere obstacles to be ignored.
What would happen, if those of us who claim to follow Jesus, made it our life’s goal to obey His commandment and actually treated others the way we want to be treated?
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!