Reading from the Gospels this morning, God led me to Scriptures on healing.
I have been praying for Charlie who has received an incredible healing recently. The past couple of weeks have been so hard for him and his family. Charlie has heart problems. After having an angioplasty, he suffered a stroke. Somehow he drove himself to the hospital (I am sure there were angels surrounding that car!). The doctors did not give the family hope. He was on blood thinners because of the critical condition of his arteries. The doctors said he had to be taken off of them immediately or he would suffer another stroke. The heart doctor said if they took him off the blood thinners, he would suffer a heart attack, probably killing him. The family had to make the decision of what to do. We began praying! These were prayers that resembled childbirth- crying out for a life. (Thank you all who were praying!) We knew despite what the doctors were saying, "With God, all things are possible!" Thankfully, Charlie survived being taken off of the blood thinners and we were praising God for sparing his life. Then, the next test came as Charlie's insurance was ending. Being self-employed, he was on Cobra which was going to end within days. Here he was, not able to walk, blind in one eye, facing the possibility of having to go home without any care. Again, we hit our knees, crying out for God's mercy and favor and help. Again, when doctors said it was impossible, and all "looked" hopeless, God did the impossible, (and hours of paperwork later), Charlie was able to stay in the hospital. He is recovering when doctors did not give hope that he would live!
But, the enemy is right there trying to turn victory into defeat. Charlie is suffering from depression, especially about the medical bills beginning to mount up and the possibility of paying them, feeling desperate. In a short week, praise has turned to fear. The devil is right there to steal our victory. He wants us to question and doubt and ultimately give up. He wants to steal our joy and our faith. He wants to turn our gladness to mourning........ He tries to make us doubt our miracles, question God, question our faith........ Charlie, please don't give up! Please keep your eyes on Jesus! Please continue to believe.
So many times when we see God work, when we have experienced His presence, when we experience His miracles, we walk through a trial of faith. Will we believe what we have just seen of God? We will continue to be steadfast in our faith? I am reminded of the "Transfiguration" when Peter, James, and John had their "mountain top experience." They saw Jesus in His glory! We would think their faith would be soaring! But, it is in the next chapter that they are not able drive out a demon from a boy and Jesus rebukes them for having "little faith." We don't live on the mountain top. And, we walk through the valleys. Please pray for Charlie as he continues to heal and recover. Pray especially for his faith and trust in the Great Physician. Pray that he is filled with joy, despite his circumstances. Pray that in this time as he recovers, he will fall head over heals in love with Jesus Christ.
So, as I was reading about Jesus' healings, asking God to really teach me and show me about this, He led me to the healing of Bartimaeus. This story can be found in Matthew 20, Luke 18, and Mark 10. I figured this story has to be pretty important if it is in the Gospels three times. Father, give us deep insight into Your Word today. Open our eyes to see what You want to reveal to us. Give us a Spirit of wisdom and revelation. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Bartimaeus was a blind beggar who sat outside of Jericho. Jericho- where his ancestors had experienced great miracles! Jericho- where the walls came crumbling down by the power of God's hands and the Israelites were able to defeat their enemies. Growing up, I am sure Bartimaeus had heard these stories of Jericho's walls crashing down and how great his God was and is. He knew God was powerful and able. So, when he hears Jesus is coming through town, he knows he has his chance to be healed.
As I was studying these passages, and other ones on people being healed, a few things jumped out at me about this one. First, the people following Jesus are telling Bart to be quiet when he calls out for Jesus. They don't seem to care about him being healed. This is so different from several others where FRIENDS bring someone in need of healing to Jesus. In Mark 8 another man receives healing from blindness, but his friends bring him to Jesus. But, the people in this passage don't seem to think Jesus will heal Bart. Maybe they had seen Bart so often by the side of the road, they didn't think much about him. (hmmmmmm, how many times do I see someone in need, but just pass by because I've seen him/her so often?) Maybe they didn't think Bart was worthy enough to be healed. (am I ever judgemental- questioning if a person should receive God's mercy?????) Anyway, Bart "shouts out all the more," crying for Jesus' mercy. This is why I love reading the Gospels- we get a window into the heart of Jesus. He is so loving, so merciful, so compassionate. He heals the needy, cries with Mary and Martha when Lazarus dies, touches the repulsive......... He is LOVE.
Jesus stops walking. Even though he had somewhere to go (to Jerusalem to die by the way!), he takes the time to stop. In Matthew, it says he has compassion for Bart. In Mark, Jesus, asks, "what do you want me to do?" Think about that for a moment....... You know that Jesus KNOWS what Bart wants him to do. So, why does he have Bart tell him? Because there are power in our words, my friend! Sometimes it is not enough to believe in our hearts, minds, but we need to speak it out in our words! Jesus heals him, and says, "your faith has healed you." Jesus does not always say those words when He heals. So, when He does, I take special note of it. No matter what this man had lived through, no matter the obstacles, no matter the crowds shushing him and rebuking him, he was going to look to Jesus! He was going to call out to Him! Bart had called these words, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" Wow! He calls Jesus "Son of David", believing He is the Messiah, and crying out for His mercy. What is Jesus' response? First, He encourages the man's faith by having him speak what he wants Jesus to do, then He heals him!
Now, what I really love about this story is that Bart FOLLOWS Jesus. Not all of the healed do that! Some go back to their homes, to their families, praising God. But, Bart follows Jesus. Jesus is going to Jerusalem to die on the cross. I wonder if the man witnessed all of the incredible events of the next week? In Luke's account, the man follows Jesus, praising Him, and all the people saw it, also praising God. Our miracles can cause others to praise and follow Jesus!
"...I will make you (Jesus) to be a covenant for the people and a light to the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness."- Isaiah 42:6-7
Father God, bless Your Name! Praise You! You teach us so much in Your Word! Lord, help me to be compassionate to others needing healing. I don't want to ever rebuke anyone for seeking Your mercy! Lord, forgive me for times I have been judgemental to others. Lord, I want to be filled with faith and belief, crying out for Your healing. Let me always confess with my words Who You are and what You can do! Help me always to remember to praise You and follow You and lead others to You! In Jesus' Name we pray! Amen!
Reading from the Gospels this morning, God led me to Scriptures on healing.