Mercy

As Jesus left the house, he was followed by two blind men crying out, “Mercy, Son of David! Mercy on us!” When Jesus got home, the blind men went in with him. Jesus said to them, “Do you really believe I can do this?” They said, “Why, yes, Master!”

He touched their eyes and said, “Become what you believe.” It happened. They saw. Then Jesus became very stern. “Don’t let a soul know how this happened.” But they were hardly out the door before they started blabbing it to everyone they met.

Right after that, as the blind men were leaving, a man who had been struck speechless by an evil spirit was brought to Jesus. As soon as Jesus threw the evil tormenting spirit out, the man talked away just as if he’d been talking all his life. The people were up on their feet applauding: “There’s never been anything like this in Israel!”

The Pharisees were left sputtering, “Hocus-pocus. It’s nothing but hocus-pocus. He’s probably made a pact with the Devil.”

Then Jesus made a circuit of all the towns and villages. He taught in their meeting places, reported kingdom news, and healed their diseased bodies, healed their bruised and hurt lives. When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. “What a huge harvest!” he said to his disciples. “How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!” (Matthew 9:27-38)

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. One size does not fit all. Jesus adapted how he worked with people according to their individual needs. When the two blind men asked Jesus for mercy, he questioned them about their faith. With their affirmation of faith, he healed them. Then he ordered them to keep silent.

When Jesus saw a man who was unable to speak, he simply healed him. Those who witnessed the act were astonished. Jesus did not tell the formerly speechless man to keep silent, nor did he demand silence of the audience who witnessed it.

There is not a cookie-cutter approach to human relationships, nor to our relationship with God. Relationships between persons are dynamic and changing. Not only does each individual need to be approached in a unique way, even how to handle the same individual will change depending on circumstances and the passage of time. Jesus listened, he watched, and he acted as was necessary in unique ways with each person. The only thing that didn’t change was Jesus’ love and concern for those he met.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm a deacon at Quartz Hill Community Church. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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