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“Jesus Stopped”

A Word for Today | Luke 18:35-40

The final miracle performed by Jesus that Luke records took place towards the end of Jesus’ final trip to Jerusalem.  Luke 9:51 marks the major transition in Luke’s Gospel, when after Peter’s great confession and Jesus’ transfiguration on the mount, He “set his face to go to Jerusalem,” referring to His final journey to bear the cross.  Luke 10-18 recounts the events on this journey, toward the end of which Jesus passed through the city of Jericho.  There, a blind man, whom Mark 10:46 names as Bartimaeus, heard that Jesus was passing through.  “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” he cried.

Remember what was on Jesus’ mind: His long journey to Jerusalem, and the cross, had only a day left.  Therefore, a shadow must surely have been cast upon His heart, as our Lord braced for the ordeal about to come.  If there was ever a time when we might understand Jesus ignoring the needs of yet another afflicted soul, it was now.  And yet, however absorbed with the great affairs that rested upon His shoulders, the work before Him that would be the focal point of all human history, Jesus heard that cry: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”  According to the Gospel, “Jesus stopped” (Lk. 18:40).

The words, “Jesus stopped,” are among the most blessed in all the Bible.  No matter how much burden is on His holy heart – even the burden of the cross He was about to bear – Jesus hears the cry of His people and gives them the whole of His compassionate attention.  When you cry out to Jesus in fear, sorrow, despair, or confession, the merciful Son of God stops and gives you His loving attention.  Now that our Lord is enthroned in heaven, we find in Scripture that He has fairly extensive duties: things like upholding the universe, guiding and empowering His church, wielding providence and serving as executor of the grand plan of God.  Meanwhile He is receiving the praise of a vast host of angels beyond counting.  And yet, when you cry to Jesus for mercy, for help, for comfort, for Him, you receive His whole attention.  He stops, as it were, for you.  Though His human nature is finite, Jesus possesses an infinite divinity so that He can lavish His attention upon you when you cry to Him.  And He does this without taking His thoughts off any of His other sheep or His vast divine duties. 

What a Savior we have in Jesus Christ!  Is this Gospel story not an impetus to prayer, knowing that the eye of God’s Son is on you, and that whenever you have a need He stops to hear your cry?  Here is a compassion we cannot fathom and a faithfulness we can never exhaust!  How much more we should love our Savior Jesus, knowing how great is His love for us.

In Christ’s Love,

Pastor Phillips

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