Bible Reading: Mark 10:46-52
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked. Mark 10:51
THE PRESIDENT of the Jericho Chamber of Commerce was concluding his speech at the city gate. City dignitaries, Jesus of Nazareth, and a big crowd of people jostled one another as they listened. “And so we want to express our thanks to you, Jesus, for your brief visit -”
A commotion at the back of the crowd interrupted the speaker. “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
“Shut up, you blind fool,” one of the dignitaries growled over his shoulder.
The Chamber president continued nervously, “We want to thank-”
“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” This time the voice from outside the circle was loud and demanding.
“Hush! Be quiet! Be still, old beggar!” several people joined in harshly. But Jesus was visibly moved by the plea. He called the blind beggar forward (a man named Bartimaeus) and healed him.
What caused Jesus to tum his attention away from the crowd to a persistent, blind beggar? Perhaps it was the beggar’s cry for mercy. “Mercy” is compassion or pity that leads a person to provide relief for someone in misery, and a “merciful” person is someone who feels the hurts of others deeply and acts to relieve those hurts. Agencies like the Red Cross exercise mercy in an organized fashion. But you also show mercy in simple acts like consoling a littler brother or sister who has skinned a knee.
Mercy is a chief ingredient in God’s nature. The Lord said of himself, “I am the Lord, the merciful and gracious God” (Exodus 34:6). Since Jesus was God in a human body, no wonder he was moved by the beggar’s cry. Mercy was one of the characteristics of his earthly ministry. His heart was moved by the suffering of people, and his power, as God, allowed him to provide healing and deliverance.
There’s no pain, disappointment, confusion, fear, or loneliness that Jesus can’t understand. And when you come to him crying, “Master, I need help,” Christ responds with compassion. Sometimes you spot his kind deeds when he supernaturally restores someone’s health, like he did for Bartimaeus. Other times you spot him through the caring of a concerned Christian friend who prays for you and comforts you in times of trouble. If God is eager to show the kind of mercy Jesus showed poor Bartimaeus, think what he has waiting for you when you call on him for help.
REFLECT: In what area of your life do you need God’s mercy? Have you cried out to him for help?
PRAY: Tell God today about your deepest needs-and trust him to meet them.