Jesus saw this blind beggar as an opportunity to heal a broken human being. But His disciples only saw him as a chance to debate the beggar’s situation…totally ignoring the man…they gathered around, talking about him rather than to him. As Believers, we love to talk about ministry work, out reach into the community, and other things we should be doing for the Lord. We’ll debate, plan, and call together committees…always talking about but never actually getting around to doing. The Lord is calling all of us to personal ministry…to rolling up our sleeves and ministering to that blind beggar sitting in front of us. He wants us to stop just talking about it and start doing something.
Jesus had just told the Disciples that where He was going, they could not follow at that time. But impulsive Peter didn’t want to wait. Waiting on the Lord can be maddening at times. We think we know what to do…and so impatiently we attempt to steer the ship in that direction…only to do more harm than good. When God says, “Not now,” we need to be able to rest in it, knowing that His timing is perfect. And while we wait…we should strive to find delight in the delay and praise in the postponement…for it’s a chance to learn firsthand what patience and perseverance are all about.
It was Roman custom to have the condemned person carry the cross on which he was to suffer through the streets as a means of spectacle, humiliation, and as a deterrent for others. But Jesus is calling us to follow Him…to purposely take up and bear that figure of shame. For on that cross our sins were brutally nailed…on that cross our redemption was sealed in blood. To the Romans, the cross was a symbol of shame…but to Believers, it’s a symbol of salvation.
In these scriptures we see the story of Jesus walking on the water and the disciples initial reaction. The disciples had been rowing for hours…fighting the rising winds and rough water. They were exhausted. With heads down, they were battling to just keep moving forward. So when Jesus approached the boat, fatigue and stress blinded them to be able to even recognize Jesus…irrationally, they imagined that it was a ghost rising from the waves. The same thing will happen to us when we fight the storms of life alone. Heads down, we power through, battling to keep moving ahead, but becoming more and more drained. It’s then that the combination of stress, anxiety, and exhaustion often leads to unfounded fears that overtake us. It’s also at that time, we suddenly come to the end of ourselves and finally cry out, “Lord, I can’t do this!”
Jesus had been predicting His death to His Disciples… and they were fearful of traveling to Jerusalem for what they saw as imminent death of their beloved Leader. Jesus didn’t shrink back or go into hiding…rather He had set off resolutely on the road to Jerusalem knowing full well what awaited Him. Isaiah prophesied of this in 50:7, “…therefore I have set My face like flint…” Jesus lead the way, going before the twelve Disciples…completely in control of the situation…not controlled by it.