Friday, March 13, 2015

The Last Stop

The blind beggar of Jericho acted like it was his last chance for healing.  What he heard from the crowd was that Jesus of Nazareth was drawing near.  What he did not know was that this would be the last time Jesus would ever come to Jericho.  Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem to die and this made it the last chance for the blind beggar to be healed by this rabbi who had a reputation for healing.  Of course, the blind beggar had no way of knowing the significance of the moment, but then, maybe deep in his spirit he sensed the urgency of the day.  Maybe something inside of him was saying, "It is now or never!"
This sense of urgency is underscored as he cried out to Jesus for mercy.  The Word says he shouted.  The people around him told him to hush, to be quiet.  The Word says, "but he shouted even more loudly, 'Son of David, have mercy on me!' "  When Jesus finally heard and asked him, "What do you want me to do for you?"  the blind beggar did not hesitate.  He had lived in years of darkness hoping for such an opportunity and he would not let it pass.  "Lord, let me see again," he said.  (Luke 18:35 ff.)  And without a moments delay, Jesus spoke healing words and that old blind beggar was now a man who could see and, therefore, a man who had renewed hope of living a life dependent upon his own hands and not the hands of others.
While the word "chance" has never fit too well inside a theological framework that teaches that God is a God who works inside a plan and who is so at work in our lives, there is a sense in which we have the last opportunities, or last chances, to live the life of faith in a different way.  Every night might be thought of as our last chance to tell God we love Him.  We may be the last chance some person has to hear the word about God's love.  Today might be the last chance someone has to claim in a person way the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.  One of our biggest sins may be trusting in tomorrow to come when today with all of its opportunities (and chances) are fully upon us. 

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