It’s a simple story of Jesus healing two blind men. But verse 32 says that Jesus “stopped.” In the theme of being a servant, we need to learn to be available to others, to sometimes stop what we are doing for someone else’s welfare.
A. It is probably one of the most famous parables that Jesus tells. We call it, “The Parable of the Good Samaritan.” It is found in Luke 10:25-37. Instead of reading it, just let me tell you the story because I want to add some commentary and thoughts along the way.
B. I tell you that parable because it really sets the stage for our lesson today from Jesus.
I. What Can Stop God?
A. If you ever watch a superhero movie there is one big question, “Who can stop a super hero?” I don’t really care what superhero you are talking about. By definition they are super, above, others. The go out and defeat the enemy and few can stop them.
B. There are many things I would like to know how to stop. I would like to know how to stop a computer virus, how to stop cancer, how to stop needless wars, how to stop a teacher from giving homework – well, maybe that last one is not quite the same, but you get the picture.
C. There are things that are so strong, so powerful, you wonder what can stop them? But what stops God? Is there anything as powerful as God? No. There is no being, including Satan that can stop God. He is the greatest superhero that man will ever know.
D. On his way to Jerusalem, to face the cross, to bring his mission to an end, Jesus passes through Jericho. He has brought Lazarus back from the dead, and people are crowding around him. He would begin the journey up the side of Mt. Zion to city of Jerusalem. We know that along the way large numbers would gather to hail Jesus as a king, to lay down palm branches and cloaks. But as the journey begins, before he gets he gets to Jerusalem we come to our text.
E. READ Matt. 20:29-31. Crowds surround him, but it is the voice of 2 blind men that are recorded.
F. Our text says that these men were sitting beside the road. I am sure that was not uncommon for them. They existed by the benevolence of those who would give a few coins out of compassion for a couple of blind men. But on this day they must have heard that Jesus was coming and it was him they wanted. They cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” They were calling Jesus a king! They were using a phrase that was “messianic.” These blind men saw in Jesus something more than just a popular rabbi.
G. But the crowds felt they were more important to Jesus or at least these men were not important to Jesus. The reaction of the crowd was to try and silence them. But the men cried out all the more!
H. Now look at the next words in our text (vs 32). Jesus stopped. The crowds are great but Jesus teaches us to never forget the value of a single soul. Jesus is doing exactly what he taught in the parable of the Good Samaritan. As busy as he was, knowing what is just before him, Jesus stops.
II. Being Available
A. When you think about the most important people in your life, I would guess they are the ones who stopped when you needed something.
B. I remember traveling to see my mom while she was dying of cancer. Our van broke down when I was near Dayton, OH. It was a Sunday night. I called my dad to ask if anyone from there would come and get me. No one was able to. I called back here and talked to Art Gardner, he called his sister who lived in Indy and she and her husband came and picked me up and took me to my mom’s house. That was 12 years ago, but I never forgot it. When I saw them at Art’s funeral, I thanked them again for taking time for me when life was dark. They said they had forgotten about it, but Art had reminded them before he died how much it meant to me. My point is, it is less about ability than it is about availability. It is less about talent than it is about time. It is about stopping and helping, even when life is busy, stressful and you really don’t want to.
C. Keep reading (Matt. 20:32-34). He met their need. I was so excited to see so many people come out yesterday to work on MAGI stuff. My guess is over 20 people put in an hour and half or more organizing and getting things ready to pack the boxes. What would have taken one person 40 hours took a group of 20 people about 2 hours. It was simple as stopping what was a busy day for many of them and meeting a need for a child in Honduras.
D. Jesus ask a question, “What do want me to do for you?” What an example for busy people like us. To stop and ask someone what they need with the full intent of doing it.
A. What makes God stop? It is a hurting person, a lost sheep, a sinful woman, a blind man, a person who has a need. 1 John 3:18, “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” James 1:27 “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
B. When the lawyer asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor,” Jesus told him the parable of the good Samaritan. When Jesus got done with the story he asked the man, “Who was the neighbor to the man who fell among robbers?” The only answer he could give was, “The man who showed mercy.” To which Jesus responded, “You go, and do likewise.”
C. The calling by Jesus for you today is to go and do likewise. Be available to the ones who need you and show Jesus to a world that is too busy to love their neighbor.
Because of Jesus,
Jeffrey Dillinger, minister