Luke, the medical doctor from Syria, the man who wrote more of the New Testament than even the Apostle Paul, gives us an interesting insight into how Jesus viewed life’s interruptions. He tells how Jesus started towards Jerusalem where the cross was looming on the horizon. Christ knew the Scriptures. He also knew what lay ahead. He had told the disciples that He was going to lay down His life, freely and voluntarily. That, friend, is heavy stuff. Nothing from the beginning of creation was more important than the next event on Christ’s agenda. After all, that was why He came into the world.
But Luke tells us that as Jesus started for Jerusalem, He noticed a blind beggar whom Mark identifies by name as Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46). Those who were with Jesus were impressed with what happened, so much so that Matthew, Mark, and Luke all tell us about it. Luke, however, being the doctor, gives us the details. He tells that in spite of the fact that bystanders told Bartimaeus to “shut up” or “be quiet,” Jesus stopped and carried on a conversation with this man, then opened his blind eyes.
Just a minute! Put this in perspective. This man had no social status. He was less than a nobody. He had neither education or money. He couldn’t even earn a living. Day after day, he held a begging bowl and existed on the charity of passers-by.
At the same time, thousands of people thronged to hear Jesus teach. He was a celebrity. His name was on the lips of people who exchanged gossip in the market. Businessmen quietly speculated as to whether He was the one who would overthrow the tyranny of Rome.
With the overview of history, we realize that what Christ was about to do was second to nothing from the day of creation even to the present. Yet everything stops for an encounter with somebody who was nobody–a blind beggar.
“What’s the point?” you may be thinking. Obviously either my value system, my point of reference, how I look at life, is either all wrong, or else Christ’s values were wrong. Both of us can’t be right. It becomes immediately obvious that three areas of life were different: (1) Our perspective, (2) Our relationships, and (3) Our responses to the needs of people.
That incident forces me to re-examine my perspective. Would I have said, “Get out of my way, blind man, I’m on my way to Jerusalem to save the world?” Probably. Could it be that my agenda is far from what God’s agenda is? Is it possible that I could save myself a lot of headaches if, at the beginning of the day, I prayed, “Lord, what do You want me to do today?” instead of saying, “God, bless my schedule and help me to get done all of these wonderful things which I’ve planned.”
Could it be that the insignificant interruption which ruined my plans, is really God’s appointment?
First, I must realize that my response to interruptions can only be different when I relinquish what I want to do to our heavenly Father and say, “OK, Lord, this is what I planned, but this interruption must be part of Your plan, so help me to respond without irritation.” Then, look carefully. You may well see the shadow of the Galilean standing behind the beggar who cries for your time and help.
Resource Reading: Mark 10:46-52
Text: Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” Mark 10:48-49
GUIDELINES with Harold Sala – July 18, 2017