The shout that stopped God
Luke wrote his Gospel around AD90 to established churches to help them stay certain of their faith in difficult times. He has done his research and ordered his material to take us on a journey of Jesus’ earthly life, heading towards Jerusalem: to the cross and resurrection. This first paragraph in today’s reading is a boundary marker on the journey to remind us of why Jesus came – to die for our sin and rise again. We are all on a journey and it takes time to grasp hold of the truth. Wherever you are at, keep asking God to reveal himself and ask lots of questions!
The shout that stopped God was one of Ken Gott’s memorable talks at the Stoneleigh Bible Weeks. He had nearly 20,000 of us shouting “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me”, just like the blind man. It was the shout that stopped God. A cry for help and mercy. God loves to stop for that, even if the crowds are trying to stop him. Don’t let anyone stop you crying out to God, but don’t make crying out to God the only time you pray either!
There are some useful pointers in this account to help us when we look to pray for others…
“What do you want me to do for you?” – Don’t automatically assume you know what someone wants to be prayed for. It was probably obvious the man was blind, but Jesus still asked what he wanted prayer for. When people come forward in a ministry time, or when you are praying for someone at work, in the Gym, or in life group – always ask what they want prayer for. If Jesus asked (and He is better at words of knowledge than you!) then we should ask!
Jesus commanded the healing – the prayer was short and a command. Jesus had authority to heal and has delegated that authority to us.
Praise God for what happens – always leave the person praising God for what has happened – whether it is a full or partial healing or a blessing.
Chapter 19:10 tells us that Jesus came to seek and save the lost. That sums up Christianity. Every other religion requires us to seek, to expend effort to find favour with God. Zacchaeus climbed a tree. Lots of people are seekers, seeking the truth, trying to find ways to find favour with God. Then Jesus comes and says stop. Hurry and come down from the tree. Stop your seeking. Stop trying to save yourself. I have come to seek and save you. You are found now!
As the first paragraph of the reading reminds us we were lost, sinners who rightly deserved God’s judgement. And Jesus came to take the judgement for us. He suffered in our place on the cross, was dead and buried, and then on the third day was raised to life. He ascended to the Father’s right hand from where He reigns over all. Jesus sought us, and He has saved us, if we trust him. Do you believe this? Do you feel the wonder of this salvation?