Recently in a lectio divina group I took part in we were looking at Luke 18:35-43.
As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”
He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”
“Lord, I want to see,” he replied.
Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.
In addition to the time during the night of our meeting, I have continued to talk with God about this passage and specifically three phrases that I have underlined have kept my attention.
In fact a few nights backs I was awaken by the Spirit and as we talked it all came together.
The three underlined phrases He showed me represent the state of His bride and specifically believers with the third phrase being where Jesus truly wants us to live.
Let’s break this down.
The first phrase talks about the crowd of people hanging around Jesus who rebuked the blind man telling him to essentially get lost. The crowd seems to want Jesus ALL TO THEMSELVES. No time or room for the marginalized to enter their world or for Jesus to turn His attention outward. These are the people we see today who check in on Sunday, hang for a hour and check out the rest of week. They like to hang with Jesus for a while and make sure no one enters or compromises their hang time. They have little regard for a dying world spiritually and physically. It’s all for the outward show and appearance of righteousness. They want nothing from Jesus but a photo op for they have learned erroneously from strange experiences in their life that this is a cool thing to do and just might be sufficient to get them to heaven. But if you asked them if they know for sure they are heaven bound they would tell you it’s still in all probability a crap shoot, but they are hoping because they were caught seen with Jesus.
But of course Jesus is always authentically outward because He is so healthy inward. He stops and He asks the man “What do you want me to do for you.” This second posture is an extension of the first. These folks like to hang with Jesus and rub Him like a genie lamp in hopes of getting all their wants met. When the “lamp” fails to produce their confidence and trust in Jesus wanes and they look to externals in their culture to meet their wants. Often times leading to duplicitous and destructive use of their mind, body, soul and relationships. These folks once disappointed become the modern day Laodiceans. They are so busy working to get wants met they do not even realize He is attempting to meet their needs. When Jesus does not produce for them things not in His will for them the heart grows cold and the mind wanders as they attempt to get their wants met they buy a ticket on the Long Black Train.
Then there are the third group of folks who definitely want to hang with Jesus but they always have only ONE request: “LORD, I WANT TO SEE!” In other words Lord I want to know your will, I want to live out your plan for my life, I want to see as You see, I want to live a life devoted helping those marginalized in this world, I want to reposition my life to move with You and only when You speak, I want to restore the reputation of Your Son Jesus to this culture by the way I speak, act and live. “LORD I WANT TO SEE!” These are the MASTER’S APPRENTICES. They want His character over their comfort.
Now I have always believed if you are not part of the solution then you remain part of the problem. So how about those folks in Group 1 and 2. Is it too late for them? Heavens no! But the clock is ticking. The answer lies within Group 3 the folks who make up the Apprentice corps. We/they need to continue to model the compassion of Christ to them in word and deed. Working with the Trinity to communicate with them the truth of scriptures like John 15:5-8, 2 Peter 1:3 and Matthew 11:28-30 first by our actions so they will hear our words.
Renovator Ministries is a ministry to the church who sadly today make up the majority of the first two groups.
If the church is going to withstand it must be filled with APPRENTICES or it will fall. The leaders of the church must MODEL not talk the attributes described in the life of an APPRENTICE above. It is not easy, but new agendas must be drawn up and implemented as the clock is ticking. The sheep in our pens are confused, restless, insecure, photo ops and genie lamps they know are not sufficient. In their hearts truly they want their first love JESUS but are not shown how to live in His presence, hear Him, and depend on Him for everything for life and godliness.
It’s time to be a restorer of Christ COMPASSION to those marginalized in the streets and to those inside the church confused, restless and insecure through PRESENCE.
Will you join in?