Wednesday, March 18, 2009



Tonight while hanging out with a few friends, one of my long-time friends shared a great insight from a passage out of Luke. He saw a fascinating contrast in the life of Jesus. The contrast can be found between the disciples who were following Jesus and a blind man in Jericho. This triggered some thoughts for me to share with you. Let's read it:

In Luke 18:31-43: Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things which are written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished. For He will be handed over to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and mistreated and spit upon, and after they have scourged Him, they will kill Him; and the third day He will rise again."

NOTE the response of the disciples who have been with Jesus more than all others: But the disciples understood none of these things and the meaning of this statement was hidden from them and they did not comprehend the things that were said.

Jesus again shares His strategy with His closest followers about going to Jerusalem, dying and being resurrected on the third day. And they again didn't "get it."

Now, check the next thing that happens: As Jesus was approaching Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the road begging. Now hearing a crowd going by, he began to inquire what this was. They told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. And he called out, saying, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" Those who led the way were sternly telling him to be quiet; but he kept crying out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"

Jesus did an interesting thing here. He goes out of His way to meet the blind man who is causing such a stir. And Jesus stopped and commanded that he be brought to Him; and when he came near, He questioned him, "What do you want Me to do for you?" And he said, "Lord, I want to regain my sight!" And Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has made you well." Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him, glorifying God; and when all the people saw it, they gave praise to God.

Why did Jesus ask a blind man what he wanted? I mean, if you're blind, then you obviously have a great need to see. I think Jesus asks him in order to verify what the blind man meant by what he called Jesus. He had said: "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" By using this title was this blind man recognizing Jesus as God's Messiah who was able to make him see or was he just a needy man in need of help? When Jesus saw that the blind man was clear that he wanted Jesus to act as God's Messiah and heal his blindness, then Jesus said: "Receive your sight; your faith has made you well." In other words, Jesus moved into His Messianic role and made the blind man see.

Now, here's the point my friend was making and what I want you to see. The contrast between the disciples' blindness about Jesus' role as God's Messiah and the blind man's ability to see Jesus as God's Messiah is astounding! The disciples have been around Jesus for a long time, yet still did not understand what Jesus was telling them He was going to do as God's Messiah. On the other hand, the blind man who had never seen Jesus ever, yet had only heard about this Jesus, sees clearly who Jesus is.

What is it that causes this kind of difference in responses? The problem here can be wrapped up in two words: preconceived ideas. The disciples were unable to understand; they were kept from seeing the truth, because of their preconceived ideas about Jesus and the Kingdom He was introducing to the world. It's preconceived ideas that usually get in the way of seeing Jesus clearly! Preconceived ideas are beliefs you carry that are not quite accurate. These beliefs normally come in the form of what we have packaged as doctrines. The problem with "doctrines" is that they tend to be man-made and not God-made.

And you know what? Just by saying that, many of you can easily become upset with me and believe that I have strayed off away from the scriptures or even worse, by some people's standards, you may believe I have gone away from the traditional doctrines of the faith and have moved into, God forbid, the emerging church. I was just attacked with that label by a godly bible teacher the other day, using the "emerging church" as a dirty word.

Let me summarize my thoughts by saying I am neither a follower of the traditional doctrines of the faith nor am I a follower of the emerging church. And, by the way, nor am I against either. I am a stubborn follower of Jesus and I want to know Him more than anything else. To defend your "theological position" in any camp is to fool around with PRECONCEIVED IDEAS and you will surely encounter difficulty having eyes to see and ears to hear Jesus. Can you see Jesus from where you are standing today?

We'll continue this discussion tomorrow.