[This is a copy of a sermon I preached in a large Melbourne church in 2010. I found an audio version of it on this link if you would care to listen to it, https://webarchive.nla.gov.au/awa/20210805173855/https://www.stalfreds.org/sermons/power-to-save-and-to-heal/
This is a great story of a blind man being healed by Jesus! But what is its relevance to you and me today? There are a number of lessons we can learn from the faith of the blind man.
We see here 4 things we need to do to receive God’s healing or blessing.
1). WE NEED TO RECOGNISE JESUS’ PRESENCE IN OUR TIME OF NEED
Lk 18:35 As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging.
The blind man couldn’t understand what was happening in the world around him.
HE could only beg and ask questions. Lk 18:37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”
He was in the presence of Jesus the Healer.
This same Jesus is present with us today in this service whether we realise this or not.
· He promised in Mat 18:19-20, to be with His people as they meet together. Mat 18:19 “Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. Mat 18:20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
Present with just 2 or 3 gathered. Not just with 200 or 2000.
· Not just when the praise and worship get to a certain volume.
· Not just when people start saying to one another, “I feel the presence of the Lord here tonight.”
· It doesn’t matter whether one feels His presence or not.
· We believe what He says in spite of what we feel.
The Christian faith is all about faith, not about feelings.
· If we feel His presence, that’s a bonus, but we don’t have to feel His presence for Him to be amongst us.
· (One night our younger son David, a preschooler, was present with his mother in an evening service in the Armidale Cathedral. In a time of silence during the service, he yelled out excitedly “There’s God!” I looked up to see many present looking around the Cathedral. Then their faces turned sheepish because they knew that God is invisible. What had happened was that my wife Carole was showing David words in the Prayer Book to help in his recognition of words. Suddenly he saw God [not in person, but the letters GOD in print and made his discovery loudly known! But God was indeed present in the service but unseen.
2). WE NEED TO ASK FOR JESUS’ HELP IN OUR TIME OF NEED. Luke 18:38 And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
What the blind man was told. “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”
What the blind man yelled out. “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.”
·Here was a quantum leap, to go from Jesus of Nazareth, to Jesus Son of David.
· “Son of David” –was a title for the coming Messiah.
It was what the blind man believed. He recognised that Jesus was the Son Of David, the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One, the One who had come to save and to heal the people of God.
· IN the presence of Jesus the Messiah, he could only cry out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
· He humbly asked Jesus to have mercy on him and heal him.
· What would Jesus say to his request?
3). WE NEED TO HANG IN WHEN WE FACE DISCOURAGEMENT
Before Jesus could reply, the crowd in front of the blind man told him to shut up, to be silent. Lk 18:39 And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent.
· A blind man is always at the mercy of the crowd around him. He had a choice. “Do I just shut up and perhaps miss out on Jesus hearing me and healing me? Or do I make sure Jesus hears me as I scream out to him?”
· He made his decision. Forget the crowd and focus on Jesus. “… he cried out all the more, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Luke described his yelling out by using a different word. In verse 38 the word is from nβοάω boaō; which means to cry out or to shout.
· However in Verse 39 it is from κράζω krazō meaning to scream out, or to shriek. Compare Mat 15:23; Mar 5:5; Acts 19:28-34.
· He was fair dinkum in seeking healing and it didn’t matter what anyone else thought as he screamed out to Jesus for help.
What we saw in The Healing Service in Sydney when I was in charge from 1988 to 2006
Many people came to the service in spite of all the discouragement that had been thrown at them.
· Often it was from their Spouse or family.
· Some came in spite of being discouraged by their local ministers who didn’t believe that Jesus heals today.
· Wives suffering from cancer came alone to our Cancer weekends when their husbands refused to come to support them.
· When you’re desperate enough nothing will put you off getting the help you need (unless you really are in a dangerous or difficult situation).
· How desperate are you to know God’s touch on your life?
· What do want Him to do for you? That’s the 4th essential we look at.
4). WE NEED TO BE HONEST TO GOD ABOUT WHAT WE REALLY NEED
Jesus heard the man’s screams. Lk 18:40 And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, Lk 18:41 “What do you want me to do for you?”
· A silly question by Jesus? Wasn’t it obvious! He needed to see again.
· But he needed to tell Jesus what he wanted.
Jesus and our freewill.
· God never imposes anything on us against our will.
· We need to ask for His help.
· He invites us to tell Him what we need. Mat 7:7-8 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.“
· It’s the same picture we see in Rev 3:20. He invites us to open the door to Him to let Him into our hearts and lives. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
· Here it is 41 “What do you want me to do for you?”
He Made a Choice. He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.”
· He knew his greatest need.
- Not financial security.
- Not more recognition by society.
- He told it as it was, let me recover my sight.
His priorities were right. His greatest need was to be able to see. That would open up so much more for him in life.
Our choice? We can ask for help or we can choose not to.
On my first night as Leader of the Healing Ministry in StAndrew’s Cathedra Cathedral. I went to a woman who had raised her hand to indicate she wanted prayer. I asked her “Would you like me to pray for you?”
· She replied “No but my friend here needs some prayer”. So I said to her friend, “Would you like me to pray for you?” Her answer rather rocked me. “No Thank you.”
· I thought to myself, “My first invitation to pray for someone as the brand new Leader and I get knocked back. It can only get better from here on.” That was the only knock-back I got in 18 years as Leader.
How would you respond to the question Jesus asked? “What do you want me to do for you?”
· You could ask for many things.
· Some of them would be good for you.
· Others may be good but not what God wants for you.
You can be self-focussed in your prayer. “Lord heal me so that the pain goes, the mobility comes back and I can play a better game of golf”. That kind of prayer is often answered.
You can learn to ask for help in an unselfish way. You can ask God to bless you with what you need in order that you might be able to accomplish His will for you.
· My suggestion to a prayer warrior in America who had become weak and frail. Pray “Lord heal me for Your sake so that I might do Your will to Your glory for the rest of my life.”
· She began to pray that way every day, and there was a remarkable change in her. She became once again for many years, the vibrant faithful prayer warrior she once was.
You and I can pray in that unselfish way for whatever needs we might have.
- “Lord bless me with the material things I need to be able to accomplish Your will for me for the rest of my life.”
- “Lord bless me with the wisdom, skill, health (or whatever it is) I need to be able to do Your will to Your glory for the rest of my life.”
- God loves to bring the healing or blessing we need, to enable us to walk in the centre of His will for us.
THE REWARD FOR PERSERVERING FAITH
Sometimes we have to hang in trusting for what we need, in spite of all the discouragement and lack of support from those around us. That was so for this blind man. Lk 18:42 Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.” 43 And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.“
· His faith had been rewarded. The answer had come. He could see.
· His faith had opened to door to healing by Jesus.
· From that time on he was a follower of Jesus.
The Jesus who is present with us in this service may be saying to many of us, “What do you want me to do for you?”
Tell Him in an unselfish way, “Lord heal me, bless me for Your sake with what I need, so that I can do Your will to Your glory for the rest of my life.”
Blog No.402 posted on Thursday 16 June 2022