At the time of writing I am in Houston, Texas preaching in various churches. One of the things I have shared is the story of blind Bartimaeus from Mark 10 v 46-52. Here was a man who made certain decisions that brought him to a place of recieving wholeness and a life of new adventure.
As I read the story again. I was taken with v46 in a totally new way.
'Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city'
Before we even get introduced to Bartimaeus in the story we read that Jesus came to Jericho and Jesus left Jericho.
He came, he left. The problem is we are not told what happened while he was there!
Maybe there are some lessons in this that we can learn from this:
1. Maybe God thought it was none of our business.
If he did he would have told us but he didn't.
I think we can learn from this that some stuff that God does is not our concern.
How often do we feel we have to comment on what God does when it is not our business.
It can lead to judgement and critisism because we assess what God is doing 'there' afrom the perspective of him doing it 'here'.
2. Maybe it was because he didn't want what happened in Jericho to detract from the point he wanted us to glean from the healing of Bartimaeus.
It could be that in Jericho crowds got saved but God's emphesis for us is to realise that even a blind begger sitting in the gutter in a standing, moving, throng of people never goes unoticed by him.
In days when we can easily be taken with the spectacular and the spin that is so often placed on events it is good to continiuelly see God moving in the small things.
We need to be reminded that nothing or noone goes unoticed with him.
3. Maybe it was because God wants us to realise that the opportunity to realise his visitiation needs to be seized because his presence is not always easily found.
He came to Jericho and he left but Bartimaeus grabbed his opportunity as Jesus passed by.
I wonder how often we have missed the presence of the Holy Spirit bringing us opportunities because we havent recognised his visitation? Maybe we were busy with other things, maybe we were focused on the busyness of life, maybe we were resting from the pressures around us.
Like at Jericho, he came and he went and now like then his passing through has no effect. However, Bartimaeus new it was his day. He heard that it was Jesus and began to call out for God's attention. Even when others tried to silence him he kept on shouting. He wasn't prepared to let God's presence pass and let it go to waste.
Trusting you have many encounters with the Living God this week.