Getting a little rowdy by disregarding the normalcy of the crowd can be seen by God as great faith. When God can see our faith, extraordinary results often follow.
During his ministry, Jesus did not just slip quietly into the stream of the crowd and settle. That’s because he knew that being content with the status-quo would not change the world. “In order to change the culture, Jesus knew he had to shake the culture.”
Jesus used the resources he had (miracles) to disrupt the crowds. He knew and taught us, that nothing changes unless something is disrupted. That includes human hearts, families, businesses, and churches. In order to change the culture, Jesus knew he had to shake the culture. For good and for bad, our culture has been shaped this way for thousands of years.
His heart was love, but his purpose was to change lives.
Because of his deep love for the people he was ministering to, Jesus was willing to do whatever was necessary to get the attention of the crowd. And what better way for him to shake the crowd than to do miracles. The miracles of Jesus were never just about helping any one person, they were about getting the attention of the crowd so that his message would stick.
The miracles of Jesus were about shaking the norm, in order to reveal the better.
Shaking the norm was Jesus’ specialty. One day a large crowd was following him as he walked along a road. Suddenly two blind men called out to him, “Jesus have mercy on us!” As soon as the blind men spoke the crowd following Jesus told them to be quiet, but the blind men shouted even louder! Jesus heard them and stopped. It was time to get a little rowdy and shake up the crowd! Jesus knew what the blind men wanted, they wanted what every blind person wants, to see. But Jesus also wanted to teach the crowd that was there, and us, that faith sometimes has to be extra bold. So he asked them, “What do you want?” “We want our sight!” they replied.
In one of the most famous acts of love in the history of the world, Jesus walks over to the blind men, touches their broken blind eyes, and they are instantly healed.
His decision to get rowdy and use the gifts he had in a bold way, changed the blind men and curious crowd into devoted followers. And it taught us that getting a little rowdy with our faith and shaking things up can actually change the world!
(*Image credit: patheos.com)
God’s redeeming love always starts at the same place, with our seeing him.
Whether through a gentle nudge or a massive smack, when the eyes of our heart meet his, our journey into his loving arms begins.
“Two blind men shouted to Jesus. ‘What do you want?’ Jesus asked them. ‘Lord,’ they answered, ‘we want our sight.’ Jesus had compassion on them and immediately they received their sight and started following him.” (Matthew 20:30-34)
Life has so much to offer, a life with Christ even more.
But be aware – God is very much INTO the Blame Game.
He’ll never blame us for our past mistakes (they are covered with love), but going forward he wants us to spend more & more time in the God-zone called blame-less.
The best life, the most blessed life, is found when we are blameless.
So how do we become blameless? We are blameless each moment there is no “willful” sin in our lives (Psalm 19:13).
When we choose not to sin, we are blameless.
For some, the goal is to be blameless for a whole hour.
For others a day, week, or month.
A blameless life starts with getting to know God better and better, and then through that process gaining more and more wisdom over time (Proverbs 2:1-6). It’s that wisdom that gives us the eyes to see and the understanding needed to begin the process of learning to live a life without willful sin, a blameless life.
The GREAT NEWS is that we have an amazing Cheerleader who wants us to become so FULL of God (Gal. 5:16) that when our enemy makes an attempt to get us to sin, his efforts don’t get off the ground.
It’s at that moment that we’re beautifully blameless!
Proverbs 2:7 – “The Lord holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless.”
Jesus told the crippled man to “stretch out your hand” and when he did, he was healed and restored.
Since then, millions more have expressed their need to Jesus through outstretch hands, and they too have been healed and restored.
Whether in worship during church, sitting at our desk or kneeling beside our bed, the stretching out of our hands to Jesus is so powerful because of what that simple act says to our heavenly Father.
- Faith – Our outstretched hand is a sign of faith. It says “I believe in you.”
- Surrender – Our outstretched hand reveals our humility and willingness to give up control of our lives. It say’s “I surrender”, “I am fully yours.”
- Change – Our outstretched hand shows that we are open and ready for change. Ready to give up our willful sin. Ready to accept a new assignment. Ready to forgive. It says “I want to follow you, I want to do it your way, no matter what.”
The most powerful moments in our walk with Christ are the times when we surrender control of our lives and stretch out our hands to him.
Matthew 12:13 – “Then Jesus said to the man with the crippled hand, ‘Hold out your hand.’ The man held out his hand, and it became well again.”
Jesus came to bring rest from stress… but only to those who actively “seek” him.
Knowing Jesus and seeking Jesus, are two different things.
We seek Jesus by turning the focus of our mind towards him. Prayer, reading the Bible or a devotion, and listening to Christian music are all ways to seek him.
Knowing Jesus and seeking Jesus are two different things.
And the cool thing? When we do an act that focuses our mind towards Jesus, our eyes meet his and rest from stress is the result.
Jesus said “If you seek me out, you who are weary and burdened will be given rest. Attach yourself to me and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart. If you do this you will find rest for your souls. For my way is easy and not heavy, my way will lighten your load.” (Matthew 11:28-30)