“Those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Luke 18:39
“So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called out to the blind man, saying to him, Be of good cheer, Rise, He is calling you.” Mark 10:49
Polling data shows that……………., fill in the blank; this is popular, that is not. Survey’s tells us that most people think………….. We are constantly flooded with numbers and data about what most people think about different things. And it would be one thing if, when those numbers were reported, they were just flatly stated. However, that is not what happens. Because most think this then we should bow to that thinking. If you are not one of the 72.9785432% then your thinking is wrong. You are either uninformed, unintelligent, uncaring or maybe just down right stupid. We use phrases like wanting to be in the “in crowd.” Strangely enough, we supposedly extol the virtue of doing your own thing, as long as that “thing” conforms to whatever the latest thought is.
So we have Jesus. He is walking, traveling from one destination to another. His initial intent is not to stop and heal anyone. He is a man on a mission. The people around him know that. They know that Jesus is important and can not be stopped by trivial unimportant things or unimportant, valueless people. A blind man, worse yet a beggar doesn’t it see it that way (no pun…well truthfully little pun intended, don’t hate me). From somewhere the blind man has heard that this Jesus heals people and he so desperately wants to see. So he calls out to Jesus. The crowd reacts. This is no time to stop Jesus. Jesus is too important for the likes of you. You are making a scene. So they tell the man to be quiet. Jesus keeps walking. The man has a choice, maybe the crowd is right, maybe the man is not important enough, maybe Jesus can’t be bothered, maybe he should just go on being blind. No, he says, that crowd is wrong. And the blind beggar calls out again even louder. Now Jesus has a choice. He is heading somewhere. When He started this day’s journey, the end was not at the feet of the blind beggar. Jesus could just keep walking. Jesus could tell the blind beggar to shut up. Jesus stops. He calls to the beggar; but not to be quiet but to come to Him. And notice how quickly the wisdom and reaction of the crowd changes. In an instant, they now say be of good cheer, way to go, it was good that you were calling out.
Jesus and his followers were, for the most part never part of the in crowd. Most followed Him more out of curiosity, than belief. How ironic it is that some wanted to make Him king, but so few would actually follow what He was telling them to do. I used the phrase, for the most part, earlier because there was an exception. During His last week on earth, when He entered into Jerusalem; Jesus was very “in” indeed. Crowds lined streets, hung out of windows and stood on rooftops. They shouted Hosanna in the Highest! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” Sounds very wise indeed doesn’t it? Five days later, they would be yelling equally as loud: “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”
The enemy, the prince of this world, will try to sway us from the Truth of Jesus Christ, using whatever means he can. He will try to use large numbers and peer pressure of this world to convince us of our own wisdom, when we follow the crowd and our utter foolishness when we choose a different path. Jesus warned us that narrow is the way and few are they that follow the path to Life. Would that the crowd proclaim that Jesus Christ is the only Son of God, that we are all equally sinners and need to live in true love for Him and each other, that is a crowd I could really get behind. Alas, it seems that message comes from the very few shouting in the wilderness. Yet be of good cheer. There is a crowd in heaven. A crowd who knows Our Heavenly Father, who know that they have been washed in the blood of the Lamb and know of only Joy and Love. And if I can only be a part of a few in this life or maybe even solo, that heavenly crowd is the one I want to be a part of. Shout whatever you will crowd, I know who it is that I am going to listen to.
Our Most Gracious and Heavenly Father, we are a people who long to come together. Yet so often when we do, our own voices drown out Your Voice. We confess we find ourselves often like Your people of old, questioning You and wanting to go where most of the crowd wants to take us. Forgive us Dear Father. Pour out Your Spirit and Strength, that will allow us to resist the message of the crowd and cling to Your message. Keep us, Most Merciful Father, from being swept from You by the swift current of popular opinion. Dear Father, be our refuge from the crowd, that in prayer and contemplation we may resist the wisdom of the crowd and keep Your Wisdom written on our hearts. Give us the courage to call out to you, when others would tell us to be quiet. That we might rise above the crowd on eagle’s wings of faith and love and live a life to glorify Your Name we pray. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen