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Word from Scotland

    by Sandy Shaw

Storms - Storms - and More Storms
Date Posted: November 21, 2022

In Luke Chapter 18 and at verse 31 , Jesus Christ takes his 12disciples aside - and tells them - we are going up to Jerusalem. Jesus is leading the way – as Passover approaches - but this Passover will be like no other Passover.

Jesus always leads the way – but look where Jesus is going. Jesus knew what was going to happen. Luke tells us he set his face resolutely - 9 verse 51 - to go up to Jerusalem. He is determined and will not be diverted. His mind is fixed firmly.

The crisis of the cross looms. It is a pivotal point. The disciples are apprehensive as Jesus explains what he is going to experience. In Mark Chapter 10 , Jesus tells us WHY – to give His life as a ransom for many – to buy people back from their fallen lost sinful condition. Jesus had come to save men from their sins – and Jesus knew He came to die. The ‘wise men’ who visited Bethlehem 33years previously indicated that, by their gifts.

This sets Jesus Christ apart from ‘the founder’ of every other religion – or faith community – as we hear mentioned frequently today. Jesus Christ is unique .

The purpose of ‘other faiths’ is perhaps to help man live a better life and be an example. Jesus’ mission and purpose was to die and be a sacrifice - our Passover Lamb - 1Corinthians 5 verse 7 - shedding His precious blood to cleanse men from sin – and offer forgiveness – through repentance and faith.

Jesus reminds His men what is his priority - Jerusalem and the Cross. If Jesus had lost sight of the Cross for one moment - then, his whole ministry would have changed - and it will be the same with us if we ever lose sight of The Cross.

If we ever think we can do things our way - if we ever think that there are other things more important - if we for a moment think that we should be concentrating upon other matters - rather than the Cross of Jesus Christ - then we are in trouble - spiritually speaking.

If we ever think we can avoid suffering and persecution and pain - in some form - if we ever think we can busy ourselves doing things for God - and relegate Jesus to some lower position - then we have got it all wrong.

If we ever think we can work things out politically - socially - financially - and forget about our need for forgiveness and cleansing through the Blood of Jesus Christ - then, we will have got vital and important and critical things terribly wrong.

It is good to come to what lies right at the very heart of our Christian Faith.

Jesus Christ is holding the Cross before His chosen men - and as He does so - He quotes from the Scriptures - "Everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled." I'll be handed over to the Gentiles - that is, to those who were not Jews - to the Romans - I'll be mocked - insulted - spat upon - flogged - killed - and Jesus is warning them what to expect - and us too - and three days after all that I will rise – verses 31to 33 .

Jesus makes it all so clear as to what was going to happen. He sets before His men the Cross - but in the perspective of the Resurrection - in the light of his rising from the dead. Jesus always spoke specifically about experiencing suffering.

Jesus always spoke about sacrifice before success - tribulation before triumph - death before resurrection - sowing before reaping - and not one disciple understood him. Jesus could not have been plainer - clearer – simpler - but a man can only understand Jesus and the Cross, when the Father reveals it.

God has to come and open blind eyes and say "SEE".

God comes and says to us - Look and see what it all means - My Son dying for you - suffering for you - shedding His Blood to wash you - rising to lead you - to guide you - to give you life - to heal you - to use you - to make your life fruitful and profitable. Can you see all that? Can you?

We often have to listen to people who say - "I just cannot see that - I just don't see the point in that - I cannot see what all that will achieve. I don’t see things the way you see things – and after all, I have my own opinion."

After being with Jesus for three years - so little appeared to be getting through.

It needed a miracle - and it needs a miracle today - see that clearly – and let’s be aware of that when we are speaking to people.

It was all hidden from them. O, it was revealed - the miracle did take place - but there is a lesson which we can learn here for our comfort.

God hides things at times - truths can be so obscure for a while - and there are times when we want to say - "Why can't he see that? Why is she not aware of that?"

Immediately following this conversation, they approached Jericho - and a blind man is sitting begging. Mark tells us his name is Bartimaeus. There arose a noise and Bartimaeus asked what was happening - and some said - Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.

He called out - Jesus Son of David - have mercy on me. Those who were leading this procession gave the blind man a row - Be quiet - Sh! Sh! - Don't make such a noise. Were they embarrassed? Were they annoyed? Did they regard Jesus as their property - for them alone - for their procession in Jericho? And - why should this beggar take up the precious time of Jesus?

He was crying out for mercy - and they were saying "Sh! Sh!" He shouted all the louder - his sight depended upon his meeting Jesus - Jesus Christ the King.

It must have been quite noisy - whose voice was Jesus going to hear? This was NOT the setting for a healing. Jesus was not upset or concerned about the setting.

How great is your need at times? What do you really need from Jesus?

Is there something that only Jesus Christ can give?

Is there something that you need to meet Jesus about?

Blind Bartimaeus sowed a seed - he sowed a request - he sowed a prayer - and soon, for him, there would be a HARVEST.

To the crowd he was just a nuisance - a pest - a beggar. Some people may regard you as that times - does it matter? There comes a point where we no longer have to think about what people may think of us.

This was the last time Jesus would visit Jericho – and to Jesus, Bartimaeus was someone in need - and Jesus always has time for the person in need - who really needs Him.

Verse 41 - Jesus asks - What do you want me to do for you? Well Jesus, is it not rather obvious? Sometimes Jesus wants us to spell it out. Blind Bartimaeus's need is so desperate that he is unafraid and unashamed to make it all public. When we come in sheer need - Jesus comes in sheer Grace and Mercy and Love and Power.

Kingdom Power flowed. Kingdom sight was given. Kingdom discipleship resulted.

The Kingdom of God had broken through into Bartimaeus's life.

Jesus meets this blind man's need - and in one sense this blind man could see more than all the others put together. He had faith to see that Jesus could heal his sight.

What a harvest from that prayerful seed - that prayerful request - that prayerful shout.

Verse 43 . He went on to follow Jesus. He went on to praise God. He was open to change. His life would now take on a totally new shape - a different form.

People who were present saw the miracle – and they too praised God.

When people rise up and praise God - that is always meaningful - significant.

What a harvest - what a miracle - and it all began with someone who sounded just like a nuisance - but he cried for mercy to the right Person.

Bartimaeus wanted to see - and he didn't care how he sounded - if it were going to get him his sight back.

He was for real - he was desperate - determined and persistent.

When Jesus met his need he went on to follow Jesus – Jesus would never pass this way again, and when the opportunity arose Bartimaeus acted immediately.

One other man was about to have his life radically changed too – my friend Zacchaeus – read on in the next Chapter, with open heart and mind.

As Jesus touches you - blesses you - speaks to you - heals you - forgives you - feeds you - calls you - follow him, all the way - to Calvary and beyond.

“Loving Heavenly Father – help us – whatever we are facing. Dear God – not only bless us with Your presence but speak to us – forgive our sins – these sins which we acknowledge and confess – reassure us that we are forgiven through the blood of Jesus Christ shed for us on the cross. Help us to follow Jesus Christ, our Saviour, all the way to Calvary and beyond – even for the rest of our lives. We pray in Jesus Name. Amen.”

"'Winging It" from Stan Smith

What Makes a Church?

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Biography Information:

Alexander 'Sandy' Shaw is pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship in Nairn, Scotland. Nairn is 17 miles east of Inverness - on the Moray Firth Coast - not far from the Loch Ness Monster!

Gifted as a Biblical teacher, Sandy is firmly committed to making sure that his teachings are firmly grounded in the Word.

Sandy has a weekly radio talk which can be heard via the Internet on Saturday at 11:40am, New Orleans time, at wsho.com.

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