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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sermon 02272013 Wed. of Lent 2


May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer.  AMEN.

Let us pray!  Heavenly Father, You are Healer of our infirmities.  Enable us to understand that You heal our infirmities in order for Your Glory to be revealed.  For we are blind to the reasons for our infirmities, but You reveal Your Glory in order for us to rely solely upon You.  For You sent Your Son Jesus Christ to die in order to set us free from our sins for all of mankind, but especially all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel during our Lenten pilgrimage.  AMEN.

Here in Western Kansas one of the greatest challenges for an Easterner to grasp is that you can see 5, 10 and even 15 miles away.   Whether it is seeing Goodland from the Southern border of Sherman County, to being able to see, Edson, Ruleton or Kanorado, by just turning, the distances are measurable, but it is unbelievable to see that far.  For in the east where I grew up, you were lucky to see two blocks away for all the trees.

As we continue our series of the people and places of Lent, hear the story of Bartimaeus:

Mark 10:46-52 46 Then they *came to Jericho. And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the road. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 Many were sternly telling him to be quiet, but he kept crying out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him here.” So they *called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage, stand up! He is calling for you.” 50 Throwing aside his cloak, he jumped up and came to Jesus. 51 And answering him, Jesus said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And the blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road.

 

For Bartimeaus, all he wanted to do was to “regain my sight!”  For an undisclosed period of time, Bartimaeus could only sit along the side of the road and beg.  He couldn’t work, he couldn’t earn a living, the only thing he could do was rely upon the generosity of strangers for food, handouts and the ability to survive.

But evidently, the stories had been told him that there was one who could give him more than just food, clothing or a warm place to stay.  And His name was Jesus Christ.  When Jesus who was leaving Jericho and probably had healed many people in the city of their infirmities and diseases was going by this blind beggar who could not see, of what possible benefit would or could Bartimaeus have in his calling out for Jesus Christ.

With eyes of faith that could not see to work, Bartimaeus called out to the only person he knew could help him.  Bartimaeus called out and the people tried to hush him, but he called all the louder, because he had heard that Jesus was the one Who could do something for him.  And Jesus question for him was simple, “What do you want Me to do for you?”  And his response is not to ask for riches or treasure, but simply, “Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!”  Bartimaeus didn’t say, only if You are able, in true faith, he believed that Jesus Christ could give back his sight.  Jesus responded, “Go, you faith has made you well.”  In this one moment, Bartimaeus didn’t receive his sight because of what he had done, but simply by his belief, his faith in what Jesus Christ was able to do for him.

We are no different today.  We are blinded by the ways of man and do not see nor exercise the gift of faith given to us in our baptism.  Bartimaeus exercised his muscle of faith in what Jesus Christ could do and modeled for us the use of our muscle of faith.  In our world today we have sickness that taxes our bodies, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, pneumonia, influenza and many other diseases as well as sickness of our souls like doubt, fear, anger or other emotions that make us toxic.  But God, through Jesus Christ heals us of all of these diseases, not in healing us like Bartimaeus, which was while here on earth, but Jesus heals us for all eternity.

In, through and by our baptism into Jesus Christ life, death and resurrection we are healed for eternity.  We are enabled to see and understand God is looking out for us and giving us the greatest gift of eternal life.  The gift of eternal life is not for the here and now, but promises us eternal life and our being with Jesus Christ in His kingdom for eternity.  As we journey through Lent, we continue to encounter people and places that point simply to what Jesus Christ can and does do for us.  Jesus Christ came into this world with one goal in mind, go to Calvary.  For on Calvary, He fulfills the plan of salvation that offers us eternal life.  That is the gift given and offered for us that we only see with the eyes of faith, like what Bartimaeus modeled for us in asking for his sight.  May we look with eyes of faith and on our Lenten pilgrimage call on God for the things that matter for eternity, for Jesus came not for a select few, but to offer life and salvation for all of mankind, including all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel on our Lenten pilgrimage.  AMEN.
//trial script