Blessed… Do You Believe?

As Jesus departed, two blind men followed him, crying out, “Show us mercy, Son of David.” When he came into the house, the blind men approached him. Jesus said to them, “Do you believe I can do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied. Then Jesus touched their eyes and said, “It will happen for you just as you have believed.” Their eyes were opened. Then Jesus sternly warned them, “Make sure nobody knows about this.” But they went out and spread the word about him throughout that whole region (Matthew 9:27-31, Common English Bible).

I find it interesting, as I read through the Gospels, when Jesus does something for others, before he does it, they must have faith that he can do what they ask him to do. The ruler, in yesterday’s reading, had to have faith. Also in yesterday’s reading, the woman with the chronic condition, had to have faith before she touched Jesus’ robe. In today’s lesson these two blind men had to have faith before Jesus would cure their blindness. I find that interesting.

This says a couple of things to me. Though Jesus is omnipotent, he doesn’t seem real willing to use divine power for people who don’t believe he has the power to start with. He could, if they said “no, I don’t believe,” say himself, “well, you don’t believe? I’ll show you.” But Jesus never was about things like that. Besides, if the two blind men didn’t think Jesus could heal them, why would they even ask?

The other thing this says to me is, when we have faith, good things can happen to us. That does not mean that when we have faith bad things will never happen to us. Such an idea is far from reality. It also doesn’t mean that good things never happen to unfaithful people. It just means we have God in our corner. And, as Paul put it, “If God is for us, who can be against us.” If God is for us, it doesn’t matter who is against us.

There is one more thing I read here I believe to be important. It has little to do with faith. Jesus often tells those he heals not to tell anyone what he did, what happened in the healing (and they almost never listen and go out and tell the known world). That says to me, Jesus isn’t in it for the glory. Jesus wants to make a difference in the lives of people in need.

I think we can learn something from all this. First faith is important and second, even when we find ourselves out of the limelight, the things we do can and will make a difference in the world around us. Friends, it isn’t about us. It is always about showing others how they can see Jesus in the face of good and difficult times. In other words, it is about Jesus.

How is your faith? Will you show someone else to Jesus?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy, Peace and Thanksgiving,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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