A second thing struck me while listening to Mark on the road yesterday (read about the first thing in my last post). Also in Mark 10, there’s a story about Jesus healing a blind man, Bartimaeus (Mark 10.46-52).
The phrase that especially caught my attention was Jesus’ statement upon hearing the blind man begging for Jesus’ help:
Tell him to come here.
Think about it. Jesus instructs some people to tell a blind man to come to him. What’s up with that? The least Jesus could do is go to this man who’s calling for his help, right? But no, Jesus makes the blind man to come to him.
As I thought about it, other similar incidents came to mind …
When Jesus (finally!) arrived at the village where Mary and Martha (some of his best friends who are grieving the loss of their brother Lazarus), Jesus doesn’t even go to their home. In fact, Jesus stops outside the village and waits for Martha, and later Mary, to come to him.
On another occasion, Jesus and three of his closest disciples, Peter, James, and John, descended from a mountain retreat. When they arrived at the foot of the mountain they found a crowd of people gathered with the rest of Jesus’ disciples, who were unable to cast a demon out of a boy. Jesus said, “Bring the boy to me.”
So, what’s the deal? Is Jesus insensitive? Or is something else at play here?
I think Jesus is intentional. Jesus is willing to meet us, but there’s just something about taking that first step!
We’ve got to come to Jesus, the one who says, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11.28).