October 28th, How bad do we want to see?

Mark 10:46-52

As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd,
Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus,
sat by the roadside begging.
On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth,
he began to cry out and say,
“Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.”
And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. 
But he kept calling out all the more,
“Son of David, have pity on me.”
Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called the blind man, saying to him,
“Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.”
He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. 
Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?” 
The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.” 
Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” 
Immediately he received his sight
and followed him on the way.

Most parents have had moments where they ask their child to go find something for them only to have the child come back and say

“It’s not there.” Or

“I can’t find it”. My older daughter couldn’t find something in a room if it had neon lights and jumped out at her and say here I am. I can remember as a kid my parents saying something similar about me. I am sure all of us at one time or another have been on both ends of that conversation in our lives. I see many adults these days who have a difficult time finding something they are looking for and not seeing things clearly as well.

Many times we want to see something that is not there. We are willing to twist other’s words and actions to conform them to our own beliefs. No where is that more prevalent than during election season. We can be as extreme as political bigotry (not liking a candidate simply because of the party they identify with) to blindly following an official or candidate no matter what because of the party they belong to. Do we really want to see what it is everyone stands for individually? And, if we do examine the candidate on their individual merits do we look at the context of their previous votes and statements, that is to say why they said a particular statement or cited a certain way? Are we so blind that we cannot make a decision on our own accord for a candidate without first looking at what letter is behind his or her name?

“Master I want to see.” Do we really want see? Or do we really only want to see what we want to see? If Jesus is really Lord of our lives are we going to accept that and live that if it goes against what really want? If we ask the Lord to open our eyes are we going to like what we see? There are too many prideful people in our world that can’t let go that they may be wrong about something so they will twist their own thinking to justify their own beliefs. They will tell themselves and others around them something enough times that they will begin to believe it. Is that really seeing? No that’s becoming a prisoner of their own pride.

“Master I want to see.” Do we really? Are we consumed by the splinter in the eye of others but blinded by the log in our own? (Matthew 7:3) What is it we are looking for? Comfortable living or doing the right thing? To let Jesus Lord over our lives means doing things that aren’t going to be easy to do at times.

“Lord I want to see”. Do we really? Blaming all refugees and immigrants for the actions of a few is quite popular right now. We have people living in fear because we have people spreading fear. Fear that all people that don’t look like us, live like us, dress like us, or talk like us are here to destroy us. Has anyone seen an Amish person lately? I doubt many of our ancestors did either.

Can we see that not everyone that comes to this country is here to destroy us and kill us? But yet because a very small handful may want to, some want us to think all do. Do we look at these individuals and see that they are all children of God? For good or for bad? There’s probably more American citizens on the streets that want to harm you or I than an immigrant or refugee.

“Lord I want to see”. Do we really want to see that there are people that want and need our help? That are trying to escape a life that we couldn’t imagine or stomach because of our own blind pride and arrogance? Why are we so against outsiders? Are we that scared that all of them are the “boogeyman”? Too many Christians proclaim John 3:16 but forget about Matthew 25. One without the other isn’t going to do you any good on judgment day.

One last thing. Do we really want to see what the Lord calls us to do? Or are we as blind as our kids when we send them into a room looking for something that has neon signs saying here I am. Jesus said in Matthew 25:45 ““…Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’” Will we let go of our political tribalism and our cultural fear to see the true needs of others? To see that for Jesus to truly be Lord of our lives we may have to do things his way rather than our way. To see that we need to look for Jesus in everyone. Even those we find less than desirable to us.

“Lord I want to see”.

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