Summary: If you want to be a world-changer in times of adversity, don't let anything keep you from Christ. Instead, trust Him with your life and let Him change you and use you to change the world.
Whether or not the Kansas City Chiefs advance to the Super Bowl, the game is worth watching if only for its humorous and inventive commercials. Three years ago (2011) Chevrolet put on a commercial which featured a Silverado pick-up truck, acting like a modern-day Lassie. It repeatedly rescued a young boy named Tommy from various disasters. Take a look… (show 2011 Chevrolet Super Bowl commercial; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuBnYlyfQEc)
The ad begins as the truck rushes into the driveway and honks. Tommy's father listens to the truck "speak," and then the anxious father asks the truck, "What? Tommy slipped into a well?" Then the father and his faithful truck proceed to drive off and rescue the boy from danger.
This scenario repeats itself several times. The truck peels up the driveway, horn blaring and lights flashing, as it "tells" about a new episode in Tommy's saga of getting in trouble. Each time the truck appears, the father blurts out his frustration: "Tommy's stuck in a cave?" or "Where did you get a [hot air] balloon?" or "How did you get trapped in the belly of a whale?" or "I didn't even know this town had a volcano!" But each time Tommy gets in trouble, the loyal truck shows up and powerfully delivers Tommy from his self-made disasters.
Like Tommy, some of us have a knack for getting in trouble. Even so, the question is not, “How did you get INTO trouble?” but “What are you going to get OUT of the trouble?” You see, we all get INTO trouble, but only some of us come OUT of the trouble a better person. Only some of us come out of the adversity a victor, someone who is able to change the world, not a victim of circumstances.
How about you? How about me? If that’s what you want, if you want to be a world-changer in times of adversity, I invite you to turn with me to Mark 10, Mark 10, where we see how a blind man did it in Jesus’ day.
Mark 10:46 And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. (ESV)
Bartimaeus literally means “son of the honored one.” But as you can see, he was anything but. He was blind. He was a beggar, and his condition was a mockery to his name. No doubt, he was an embarrassment to his family.
Can’t you see Bart’s dad as he interacts with the other men in Jericho? One pulls up in a cart with a bumper sticker that says, “I’m the proud parent of a Jericho High School honor student.” Another man brags that his son is a successful lawyer in the big city – Jerusalem. And still another says, “My boy is entering the ministry. Rabbi says he should do real well. By the way, Timaeus – oh honored one – what’s your boy doing these days.”
“Oh yea, where at?”
“Well…his office is just outside the city.”
“Oh, I get it. He’s that blind beggar that sits there everyday asking for a handout. Too bad.”
Bartimaeus did not bring honor to his family. He brought shame, but he didn’t let that keep him from Christ.
Mark 10:47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (ESV)
Despite his condition, he called out to Jesus.
Mark 10:48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” (ESV)
The citizens of the city are embarrassed. Here, this VIP has come to town and Blind Bart is making a scene. They try to shush him up, but he only shouts louder & longer, “JESUS, SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME!” “JESUS, SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME!” “JESUS, SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME!”
He isn’t about to let anybody or anything stop him from getting close to Jesus. And neither should we. If you want to become a world-changer in the midst of adversity, then…
DON’T LET ANYTHING OR ANYONE KEEP YOU FROM CHRIST.
Don’t let your circumstances. Don’t let other people. Don’t even let your own embarrassment keep you from calling out to Christ.
In the movie, First Knight, King Arthur and Queen Guinevere are celebrating their wedding during which several guests participate in the challenge of the Gauntlet. The Gauntlet is an elevated obstacle course comprised of a hundred moving parts, including whirling balls and swinging blades. No one has ever successfully navigated the Gauntlet before, but the young men line up for the chance to run the course. The prize for making it through is a place of honor at Arthur's table and a kiss from the queen. The young men suit up in huge padded outfits to protect themselves and then hurtle through the course.