Earlier this week I was reading Luke 18:35-42. It was a familiar pattern. Jesus is traveling, person calls out to Jesus and Jesus starts doing cool stuff.
New Living Translation (NLT)
As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind beggar was sitting beside the road. When he heard the noise of a crowd going past, he asked what was happening. They told him that Jesus the Nazarene was going by. So he began shouting, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
“Be quiet!” the people in front yelled at him.
But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
When Jesus heard him, he stopped and ordered that the man be brought to him. As the man came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”
“Lord,” he said, “I want to see!”
And Jesus said, “All right, receive your sight! Your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus, praising God. And all who saw it praised God, too.
This is actually just one of several stories of people calling out, pursuing and nearly nagging Jesus.
As I was reading this passage this week I noticed a few things that stuck out. The beggar was calling Jesus by different names; “Son of David” and “the Nazarene”. Both of these struck me as a little out of the ordinary. Not totally odd-but not the usual. I think both of them are recognition tactics and we can find out about what these characters (the crowd and the beggar) think about Jesus because of them.
The crowd is simply identifying Jesus via location. Not something that odd, but when it is held in conjunction of the beggar’s “Son of David” it makes you think a little. I think about motivation, power and who these people believed Jesus to be (and what he could do).
The beggar was persistent. Calling out twice. The tone of Jesus’ response is almost a little aggressive. Jesus noticed this man and his persistence and is responding to it. We read in the previous passage about Jesus making his final journey to Jerusalem, Jericho was simply on the way.
After the healing, the beggar “followed Jesus”. We don’t know for how long. It might just be a statement of intellectual following or it might have been physical.
What is this story is a picture of what we should be doing?
Calling out by talking about who we believe him to be. Realizing what the crowd around me is recognizing him to be (or most likely not recognizing) and instead engaging and expecting to experience Jesus.
I asked myself these questions after I read the text. I encourage you to as well. Take just a moment to reflect.
1. How am I chasing Jesus?
2, How am I hollering at him over the crowds?
3. Am I willing for Jesus to heal the thing that stops me the most? Am I prepared for that kind of freedom?