Herald Journal Columns
Nov. 14, 2005, Herald Journal
Pastor's Column

Jesus is the way

By Rev. Dan Swanson, First Baptist Church of Cokato

Perhaps one of the great qualities of Jesus’ life was His awareness of need in the people around Him.

One of the truly wonderful stories of His compassion is healing a blind beggar, Bartimaeus.

It’s one of those pivotal moments in the beggar’s life, as he sits in his darkness. He hears a crowd coming along the road to Jerusalem. It’s a day like every other day, but as he hears the crowd, his hope for a good financial windfall is raised.

He begins to call out for alms for the poor, something he’s done for too many of the days of his life. He then hears that the large crowd is accompanying Jesus of Nazareth.

His hope suddenly spikes to a whole new level. He’s heard of this man, of His healing many people with all sorts of ailments. With those whom he knew, there was a notion that a man like this would be a great political leader.

Bartimaeus seizes the unique moment and begins yelling at the top of his voice, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.”

In his desperation, he will not shut up. He continues to scream and yell in spite of the crowd’s insistance that he stop.

One of the most inspiring phrases occurs next. In all of my years of ministry, I find nothing more revealing of Jesus’ love and mercy than these words, “And Jesus stopped.”

Because of His awareness of the need of individuals, Jesus stopped the parade and called for Bartimaeus.

Of course, Bartimaeus came as fast as a blind man’s legs could run. He received mercy from the Savior, who heard and responded to his cry for mercy.

Mark quotes Jesus as saying, “Your faith has made you well.” Christianity is about trusting and asking Jesus to help in the circumstances of life.

That day, the blind man’s eyes were opened and he began to follow Jesus in the way. I, too, have been a recipient of Jesus’ mercy, and I follow Him because He is the way. How about you?


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