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And Jesus Stopped

Then they came to Jericho.  And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the road.  When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”  Many were sternly telling him to be quiet, but he kept crying out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”  And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him here.”  So they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage, stand up!  He is calling for you.”  Throwing aside his cloak, he jumped up and came to Jesus.  And answering him, Jesus said, “What do you want Me to do for you?”  And Jesus said to him “Go; your faith has made you well.”  Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road.  Mark 10:46-52 (NASB)

Verse 49 says, “And Jesus stopped.”  Or, “Jesus stopped in His tracks.”  Let’s remember that He was on a mission.  He was determined.  He had a goal in mind.  He set His face to go to Jerusalem.  But even while He was moving with determination toward Jerusalem, He was still interruptible.  Here we read that Jesus stopped because of the desperate cry of one person.  One individual.  Jesus, the most important person, during the most important week in history stopped.  He did not shun the interruption, He honoured it.  How do we respond to the cries for help from people in our tracks?  People are not obstacles to avoid sidestep.  Every person has a story and every person is valuable in God’s sight.  We are to respond to the people God put s in our path, remembering that ministering to them is ministering to Him.  Jesus said in Matthew 25:

Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’  Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink?  And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?  The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’”  Matthew 25:34-40 (NASB)

We know Jesus was in great demand, but He greeted interruptions as opportunities, trusting them as divine appointments.  Think of this: most of Jesus’ miracles were interruptions.  Often He was on the way to another appointment when someone else would stop Him and provide Him the opportunity to do something miraculous.  Sometimes where we are going isn’t as important as who we’ll meet on the way.  There is so much pain and loneliness in the world, you can be sure that the person next to you on the bus or the checkout at the grocery story could use a kind word, a smile or a helping hand.  Get off your mobile phone and talk to them.  Ask them how their day is going and mean it.  Connect with the people around you.

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