As I read the story of Bartimaeus and his friend, what strikes me is the incredible compassion and love Jesus had for people.
Here Jesus is, headed for the cross, and his closest friends, despite all he’s told him, still don’t understand what’s about to happen. In that situation it would have been understandable for him to get lost in his own thoughts, frustrations, and anxieties. But as he is walking along, he hears a familiar cry.
Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us! (Matthew 20:30).
It would have been so easy to miss. And even easier to ignore, pretending that he didn’t hear these two men over the crowd. Particularly since the people around these men were telling them to shut up.
But instead Jesus stopped, and said, “Call them.”
And when these two men came up to him, he asked, “What do you want me to do?”
They replied, “Lord, we want to see.”
And Matthew tells us that Jesus was filled with compassion for these two men, touched them, and healed them.
Instead of focusing on his own troubles and frustrations, Jesus saw beyond himself to the needs of those crying out for help.
I wonder. How often do we see beyond ourselves and see the needs of others as Jesus did. How often do we instead only look at ourselves and our needs and frustrations? And because of that we either miss or ignore the opportunities we have to reach out with God’s love.
I found out yesterday that Robin Williams died, apparently from suicide. Here was a man that brought so much laughter and even comfort to others. And yet, he was also a man tortured by his own demons. And I wonder, “Was there a Christian in his life that missed that chance to minister to him?”
Maybe there wasn’t. And if there was, I’m not saying that I’m condemning them for missing that chance. Because I have missed too many opportunities of my own. I’ve failed.
May we learn to be like our Savior. Looking beyond ourselves long enough to see the needs and hurts of those in our lives. And like our Savior, reaching out with the hand of God to bring healing in their lives.