This morning’s sermon in church was on serving others and to illustrate that, we took the example of Jesus in Matthew 20:29-34 where he healed two blind men.
“As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, ‘Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!’ The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, ‘Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!’ Jesus stopped and called them. ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ he asked. ‘Lord,’ they answered, ‘we want our sight.’ Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.”
There were a couple of things that really stood out to me in this passage that I think we can all learn from as servants of the Lord.
Jesus put himself out there. In verse 32, he stopped for these two men. In the middle of a crowd on a hot day as he was walking with his closest friends, he stopped for these two men who had no sight and were not exactly popular among the crowd. The crowd “rebuked them and told them to be quiet”, as if their pleas were not worth much to anyone. But when Jesus came along, their worth was recognized as he asked them in the plainest form, “What do you want me to do for you?”
In our lives, we will come across people in need who we can serve. The question is, will you be ready to serve them when you cross their path? Will you, like Jesus, put yourself out there?
Jesus truly cared. He gave them more than pity or a meaningless donation. In verse 34, it says Jesus had compassion on them. The word “compassion” has been defined as “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.” That day, Jesus had compassion and acted with pure love towards those two men.
Do we have compassion on others around us or do we see them as merely inconveniences, a sight to pity, or even just not worth helping? Are we like the crowd, ignoring and looking down on others who don’t have much or anything at all?
Jesus didn’t have to. The Son of God, who was and is King, came down to earth to humble himself when he could have continued sitting on his throne in heaven. But the good news that we all preach is that he came down as man and died for us. He didn’t have to, but he wanted to. He truly cares for us, just like he cared for those blind men. Many of us are spiritually blind and Jesus put himself out there for us so that we may receive sight through him. It’s a love story, a story of compassion.
The verse before this passage says, “whoever wants to be first must be your slave- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (20:27-28) We, like Jesus, are not here to be served. We are here to serve, in respect of the two greatest commandments, love God above all things and love others as you love yourself.
When we humble ourselves to help others in need and show God’s love, we are not only loving people, but we are showing our love for Him. Jesus said in Matthew 25:40, “whatever you did for the one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” We should live humbly, recognizing that we are nothing without Christ and responding to the cross with love for Him and love for others. Placing others above yourself is what brings blessings and honor.
My church’s mission statement is something that I try to live by and I believe it sums up this passage perfectly:
We exist to show God’s love in such a way that people exchange ordinary living for an extraordinary life through the transforming power of Jesus Christ.