When Bartimaeus, the blind beggar, outside of Jericho heard that Jesus was passing by, he crided out to Him for mercy! (Mark 10) I don’t know how Bartimaeus knew that Jesus was the Messiah, but his pleas to the “son of David” lead me to beleive that he did believe it. Jesus called Bartimaeus to him and granted his request to have his sight restored.
This was something that only Jesus could do. There were no doctors that could heal him. He was completely dependent on Jesus for this mercy.
The thing that caught my attention though was what Jesus told Bartimaeus to do after he was healed. Jesus said “Go your way…” and what did Bartimaeus do? What would you have done?
Would you have rushed home to share tohe good news with your family? Would you have run to get a job that would pay you something more than begging? There are many different ways he could have gone. However, he chose to follow Jesus. He made the Lord’s way his way.
Jesus heals us from a malady much worse than blindness. By His stripes were we healed, Isaiah tells us and John tells us Jesus is the propitiation for our sins. so what way are you headed after being healed by Jesus? That is the question we looked at in today’s sermon. You can hear it here.
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. (Luk 9:23)
Many many points could be made from this statement of our Lord. But I would like to make just one: Jesus is telling us what it takes to follow him. So much of the time, we are not really serious about following him. We want to follow other people and activities and priorities and at the same time have a little Jesus in our life. Aside from the denying of self and taking up of the cross, the point is, who are you going to follow?
If we go after Jesus, we have to go the way He is going, not ask Him to go the way we are going. Who is coming after whom?
So often we see bumper stickers that say “God is my co-pilot”. Which is really missing the point, isn’t it? We do not invite Jesus to go with us, he invites us to follow him. He sets the standard. One might assume then that as a Christian we have no say in the matter as to how our life goes. Actually, we have lots of say in the matter. However, Jesus’ say comes first and foremost.
The Lord says “Go work” so we go to work. Do we pick an honorable job and profession or do we pick one that is perhaps in the Bars and Casino’s? You might say “But someone has to work there….” Is that someone the one who is following Jesus?
So when we want to follow Jesus, we follow HIM. We do not follow the writings of Eastern religions, the teachings of the Qur’an, or even the writings of Creed books, Books of Mormon, or traditions of men, we follow Jesus. That does make it pretty exclusive I must admit and even a bit of a separatist religion. We can be friendly and respectful to those of these other faiths but not follow their faith.
There is no other name given in Heaven or on Earth by which men can be saved. Our job, if we choose to accept it, is to follow Jesus.