Earlier this month I challenged myself to engage in more conversation as I go about my day. But today, it’s time to take it a step further and love my neighbor.
It is quoted in Scripture, but what does it look like?
I attended a conference yesterday where the primary focus was on learning how to be a real presence in our neighborhoods and follow the example of Jesus.
This passage from Mark 10 was shared in the opening devotion:
46 “Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means ‘son of Timaeus’), was sitting by the roadside begging. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ 48 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’
49 Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him.’
So they called to the blind man, ‘Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.’ 50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
51 ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ Jesus asked him.
The blind man said, ‘Rabbi, I want to see.’
52 ‘Go,’ said Jesus, ‘your faith has healed you.’ Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.”
The speaker shared that Jesus modeled loving His neighbor. He…
- Stops & listens (v. 49)
- Invites (v. 49)
- Asks a question (v. 51)
- Heals (v. 52)
Seems pretty straightforward, right? Well, except for the healing part, but God the Father has given us the Holy Spirit so we know anything is possible! I certainly know that I have been patched up by the encouraging words of another. Jesus healed because he is God, but we can be healers by simply loving our neighbors!
I think the hardest one for me is to stop and listen. As I said in a previous post, it’s very easy to keep my head down and go about my day, but when I do that, I miss all the opportunities I have to truly listen to those around me.
Not only does Jesus stop and listen, but he invites the blind man into conversation. He builds a relationship with the man and shows him right away that he cares.
This learning certainly makes me pause and read over God’s Word again and again to better understand the example Jesus was setting for me. But it’s not a scolding passage, but rather an inviting one.
Even in the telling of the narrative, Jesus is stopping and listening to us, inviting us into conversations with him and asking what we want. What an amazing imagery for prayer and our relationship with our Savior! I am always asking for something in prayer, but how often do I stop and listen for the question that God is asking me? And while God doesn’t always answer my prayers right away, he affirms the faith that I have with his provision and mercy.
A friend and fellow #31days blogger pointed out another #31days blog to check out. I haven’t yet had time to read it, but I am looking forward to learning of the experience of one woman’s journey in “Being a Good Neighbor.”
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