Summary: God gives as much grace as we need
A Second Touch
If you ask someone who has experienced the touch of God’s hand, to describe that experience, they will use words like; wonder and wonderful, amazing, supernatural, awesome, miraculous, unbelievable, and life changing. Touch is something every human being longs for…was designed for…and desperately needs. That’s evidenced in the fact that one of the top 5 advertisements for effectiveness and popularity of all time is the old AT&T commercial—you remember what is was?—Reach out and TOUCH someone. This morning’s scripture and today’s message is about people who God touched and people who longed to be touched by God again.
In this morning’s gospel text, Mark records for us a rather strange event—of a blind man who, with a little help from his friends, comes to Jesus to be healed. Now, this man was in a bad way. Sometimes we forget, when we read scripture, to consider the context. This guy was blind, and that was just about as bad off as anyone could be in Jesus’ time. Today, we can prevent and treat so many eye problems---how many folks in here wear glasses, or contacts, or have had laser surgery or cataract surgery? How would life be for you if you didn’t have glasses or contacts or surgery? Bad vision is bad enough, but to be blind was to be helpless and without hope. There was no help for bad vision, and no cure for blindness.
And as far as we know, this blind man did not know Jesus---his friends or family or neighbors take him by the hand and lead him in desperation to a meeting with Jesus. The man himself, had very little faith and even less hope….but then, what did he have to lose—he was a beggar with no sight, no future, no hope, and no chance for recovery. As far as he knew, alive but blind was about as good as it was going to get for him. And then, Jesus touched him. (Look at this scripture---not only did He touch the man, He took him by hand---He touched eyes.) The man could see light, and people, and movement, but his eyesight wasn’t perfect, things were not clear…sorta like you or me without our glasses—but that was still a whole lot better than the darkness---the blindness. Now, in that touch, Jesus gave the man a glimpse of possibility—a glimpse of hope, a glimpse of how much better life could be…and the man wanted more. He wanted to be touched again! He wanted a second touch. He wanted more. And Jesus touched him again, and in that second touch, the man who had been broken by blindness was healed, and whole and complete. His future and his life were given back to him…with that second touch. I love this story---I never get tired of hearing about people whose lives are transformed by Jesus.
Jeremiah is another person who was touched by God---and then touched again. Now, unlike the blind man who had just a little faith, Jeremiah was a man of great faith. He loved God and he knew that God had already touched him. In fact, God reminds Jeremiah, by saying, “before I formed you in the womb, I knew you…” You see, God had been personally, and intimately involved in creating Jeremiah, and Jeremiah was a follower of God—He was God’s man, eager and ready to live for God and serve God. But there was one problem—Jeremiah couldn’t do it---not every day---not 24/7. He just didn’t feel he could live for God and accomplish what God was calling him to do---He just wasn’t that good; he had weaknesses, he had faults; it was not humanly possible. He needed something more than he had in himself---he needed another touch of God’s hand. And so, God touches Jeremiah again…touches his mouth and Jeremiah goes on to become one of the heroes of faith. Don’t you love how God can take, and transform a timid but willing, self-conscious follower into a confident and capable leader with just the touch of His hand!?! The touch of God---it really is amazing and wonderful and awesome!
But, you know, this isn’t just about the blind man and Jeremiah. It’s about you too…and me. The Word of God ALWAYS encounters us and challenges us, and asks us, “What about you? What’s your story? How do you fit in to God’s story?” Your story may not be on these pages, or written in ink, but you have a story and you are living your story right now. Your story may well have some parallels to Jeremiah’s story---you have a sense that God is calling you to do something or calling you to be something more than you believe you can be. And the blind man’s story; it may not be so different from your own.