Summary: Thanks to Pastor David Dykes for the original message.
One day while traveling on a Chinese junk, Hudson Taylor was witnessing to a man named Peter who, even though he was under deep conviction, rejected the gospel. Suddenly Peter fell overboard, but no one made any effort to save him. Taylor ran to the mast, let down the sail, and jumped in, hoping to find his friend. But no one on board joined Taylor in his frantic search. Taylor saw a fishing boat nearby and yelled for them to help, but they wouldn't do it without money. Finally, after bartering for every penny that Taylor had, the fishermen stopped their fishing and began to look for Peter. In less than a minute of dragging their net, they found him, but it was too late. Peter had drowned and no one seemed to care…WHY?
One just didn’t want to get involved and the other was too busy fishing to care about saving a drowning man.
This brings me to my third point in this series.
3. Jesus will never be too busy for you:
We can easily condemn those selfish fishermen and those on the boat with Taylor but here’s the problem; by accusing them, we may condemn ourselves.
I wonder if we right here at EBC are too busy with our jobs and other activities to take the time to rescue those who are living and dying without Christ.
Some, in the church, are so focused on the “fishing” that they fail to notice those who are drowning right within their reach.
Verse 40 says Jesus stood still and instructed the people to bring Bart to Him.
By the way, His instructions still hold true today and we are to bring people to Him as well.
At this point, Jesus was heading for Jerusalem to die for the sins of all mankind and in the next few days He would face betrayal, arrest, torture and crucifixion. He was a man on a Mission, yet He paused to answer the cry of one man. Jesus was in a hurry but He paused and gave a blind man hope.
I’m sure there were hundreds of voices in the crowd that day calling out to Jesus, but He was able to distinguish Bartimaeus’ cry for mercy from the crowd and Jesus is listening for your voice among the myriads of those crying out today.
When you call out for Him, He will stop and respond to you.
There was a time when Jesus was on the way to Jairus’ house because his daughter was sick and dying. As they were making their way through a crowd, a single desperate woman reached out and touched the hem of his robe. (I see her crawling under the feet of those standing tall…)
Even though Jesus was being jostled by the crowd, He noticed that single touch of faith. He stopped and said, “Who touched me?” The disciples rolled their eyes and said, “Give us a break, Lord, EVERYBODY is touching you.” Jesus said, “No, I felt goodness go out of me–somebody reached out in faith.” He stopped and spoke to the woman and she knew she was healed.
You may think that you are just one of nearly 7 billion human beings who share this rock and nobody knows you exist. But in spite of this, you are of such importance to God, that when you call out to Him, He pauses to help you!
The mighty God who keeps the entire universe running will stop and answer your cry for help as if He had nothing else to do.
God isn’t distracted by the millions of other voices. He always has time for you.
The Bible says in Psalm 46: 1, “God is our refuge and strength, an EVER-PRESENT help in trouble.”
You don’t have to take a number and wait…
Jesus always meets us at our point of desperation. But it’s not just desperation.
You can be desperate and never call on God for help.
4. if change is going to come you must admit you have a need:
Jesus asked Bartimaeus in verse 41, “What do you want me to do for you?” At first one might say, “What a crazy question. Jesus KNOWS the man is blind!” But then I seem to remember Jesus asked a similar question to the paralyzed man who lay every day at the Pool of Bethesda. Jesus asked him, “Do you want to get well?” (John 5:6)
Bartimaeus had a pretty simple life. He had grown accustomed to sitting beside the road and accepting handouts.
After all, some people like the attention they get from their suffering. It would be like asking someone today who is physically able to work, “Do you really want to get off welfare?”
They say, “Beggars can’t be choosers” but Jesus gave Bart a choice. He asked him because He wanted Bart to admit his point of need, and to confess he believed Jesus could change his life.