Summary: This is the fourth and final week of our Stewardship Series 2009. Based upon the classic Christian poem "Footprints in the Sand," we know we can step out boldly since God will always walk beside us.
We are closing out our 2009 Stewardship Series. I thank everyone who has made a point of making their commitment of time and talents for this next year. I remind those of you who haven’t… there’s still time to be one of the cool kids!
As we close out our stewardship series this year, there is one more point that I think we need to touch on… the future! No… I’m not going to talk visioning… I’m not going to talk about growing our church… I’m not even going to talk about future projects… so you can breathe again. Instead… I want to focus on what stewardship means to you personally! The more you are given by God… the more you should want to learn about him and follow him! The more you learn about him and follow him, the closer you should come to him in your daily walk. So I ask the question… what does your tomorrow look like… in the light of all that God has done for you? So… let’s get into it now with this morning’s scripture verses:
46 Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" 48 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" 49 Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." So they called to the blind man, "Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you." 50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. 51 "What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked him. The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see." 52 "Go," said Jesus, "your faith has healed you." Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
Tomorrow. What is tomorrow to a worthless blind man. Another cold day alone. Another day trapped in the darkness. Unable to work. Unable to care for myself. My only hope… my only hope for survival is along this main stretch of road, where I will sit… in darkness… and beg. Tomorrow? (Scoffing) That famous teacher, Jesus, who I’ve heard about was right… today has enough worries of it’s own. Will I eat? Will I be trampled by Roman soldiers who would rather spit on me than help me? You know it’s not easy! I’m not the only one out here. The poor, the widowed, the lame, the sick, the helpless… they line these roads with me… seeking handouts… seeking hope! Tomorrow? I’d rather not think about tomorrow. Today! Today has enough worries of it’s own.
Then… something. News. That teacher is in town… you know they say he healed another blind man in Bethsaida! They say he took the man by the hand and led him out of the village. He spit in the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, then he said… “Do you see anything?” He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” Odd… didn’t get it right the first time. But the teacher put his hands on the man’s eyes again, and his eyes were opened. He could see!
Maybe! Maybe! No… I dare not get my hopes up. This road is well traveled but what are the chances he’ll come by here? It has been a long, hard road… but I’ve managed. I’ve toughened my skin… I’ve accepted my lot. But I dare not get my hopes up… I couldn’t survive the let down. No, I will not hope.
(WITH EYES ALMOST CLOSED… LISTENING) A crowd. A large crowd… leaving the city. Chatter… so much chatter. Can I make it out? Yes… they are talking… about… miracles. "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"
“Be quiet you! Do not interrupt! Stupid beggar! Don’t waste the teacher’s time! There are so many more important people… so many more important things for him to do. Stay down there and let us through!”
NO! "Son of David, have mercy on me! I don’t even care if you have to spit on my eyes!”
“So help me old fool…”
“What? Very well… cheer up old man… on your feet! He’s calling you!”
"What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asks.
What do I want? Really? You have to ask what I want. I have lived in darkness… I have been abandoned… unloved… helpless… alone. What do I want? Life. Hope. Redemption! Can’t you see… I want a tomorrow I’m not afraid of.