Call Christ from the Crowd

Today’s scripture from Mark brings us something beautiful about God and God’s desire to enter into relationship with mankind.

Christ does not assume what we want rather asks us what we want of him to do for us. Now the question is how we are going to answer that question. Are we going to say a number of things that we want him to do for us or can we understand the deeper meaning of entering into a relationship with Christ?

Jesus said the same to James and John and you know what they said. “Lord can we sit at your right and left when you come in glory”.

Here is a blind man who says, “Could I see please”.

This is the last story of healing we hear in the Gospel of Mark. Jesus is in Jericho, at the edge of Jerusalem, and at the edge of suffering and death. Jesus’ journey ends here. He could be so preoccupied with his own life and what awaits him, instead hears the cry of the blind to see.

Interestingly it is the blind who recognized Jesus from the crowd than the people with their eyes open. In the physical blindness his inner eyes were open to see God passing by.

We live in a world of communication explosion. Our world of today has more ways to reach people across the globe and to our immediate neighbor faster and easier than it was before. People can actually hear the cry for a life, for light and relationship now more easily than our grandparents and parents could.

But you know sadly we hear less the cries of our neighbors today than before. We have less relationship with our neighbors and friends around us as we sit in front of the communication box to talk to them impersonally.

This story of today shows us what is essential and what we need within us to see it.

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eyes.

In today’s world there are three kinds of blindness I read somewhere.

1. The first kind is the blindness of Bartimaeus which is physical.

2. The second kind is the blindness of the disciples; James and John, who unintentionally sought power and place of honor.

3. The third kind is the blindness like that of our world today that hides behind a screen and don’t see real life around.

Here is a beautiful story I read some time ago.

Some years ago in a small village in the Midwest, a little twelve-year old girl named Terri was babysitting her little brother. Terri walked outside to check the mail. As she turned back from the mailbox, she couldn’t believe her eyes. The house was on fire. So very quickly the little house was enveloped in flames. 

Terri ran as fast as she could into the flaming house only to find her baby brother trapped by a burning rafter which had fallen and pinned him to the floor. Hurriedly, Terri worked to free her brother. She had trouble getting him loose as the flames were dancing around their heads. Finally, she freed him. She picked him up and quickly took him outside and revived him just as the roof of the house caved in. 

By this time, firemen were on the scene and the neighbors had gathered outside the smoldering remains of the house. The neighbors had been too frightened to go inside or to do anything to help, and they were tremendously impressed with the courage of the twelve-year old girl. They congratulated her for her heroic efforts and said, "Terri, you are so very brave. Weren’t you scared? What were you thinking about when you ran into the burning house?" She said, "I wasn’t thinking about anything. I just heard my little brother crying." [1]

In the crowd and in the neighborhood our little brother and sister are crying for help, that they may see. Someone is blind and someone else is heartbroken.

We are asked everyday what are we rushing for in daily life? Call Christ from the Crowd to stop. Christ will hear his little brother and sister crying in the midst of life’s flames.

But listen carefully the Lord does not assume what you want; he waits for you to place your request. I pray that our request be not for simply a physical healing or power and place, but that we will say “I want to see you Lord”.

[1] James W. Moore

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