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.
Thoughts: A lot happened in Jericho. Not only did Joshua cause the walls to fall down in this oldest city in the world (8,000 BC), but Elishah cured the water near here; Elijah ascended to heaven near here; the temptation took place in the desert near there; Zacheus met Jesus there; and Bartimaeus was healed there. It is amazing what God can do- even healing the blind. We should not limit God. At the end of June the governors of Texas, Louisianna, FL, AL, MS called for prayer about the gulf oil spill. Is it a coincidence that the "hurricane" headed there fizzled out and that the spill that had been going on since April stopped within two weeks of the prayer? The Chicago Tribune had a huge article by Rabbi Adam Chalom (7/6) basically saying the governors should not tell us to pray and that God wouldn't do anything about it anyway [Quoting Ingersoll: "Labor is the only prayer nature answers" and the great theologian George Carlin: "What do you want? God to change his divine plan...just for you? Isn't that arrogant?"]. For those who do not believe in God's ability to change events- the Gulf Oil Spill has stopped- for the first time since April- after too many engineering failures. Bartimaeus received his sight. Jesus stilled the storm. Personally, I have had too many coincidences to ignore the power of prayer. That doesn't mean prayer is a magic lamp, or that I don't have to do anything anymore (Bartimaeus DID have to call out- though others rebuked him). Perhaps those who rebuke people for calling out to Jesus (vs. 48) should learn a lesson from this great story. Perhaps we should learn a lesson to not be afraid to call out to the Lord, and not try to stop people from praying to Him.
Prayer: Lord, give me grace to pray to you though others tell me to stop.