“I don’t know. It’s like “the universe” or Jesus or God, but there’s stuff happening that’s beyond me and that’s not all-about-me,” said my friend. “Life has to be more than just all about me; what I want, how much sex, how much money… you know?”
He’s looking up. His eyes are on Jesus. He just doesn’t see yet. We surf and drink coffee, do a little community work and talk about Jesus.
Another friend tells me discipleship is about relationships, an open invitation, and the ongoing challenge to change.
On the way to Jerusalem and the cross, Jesus is surrounded by a crew we describe as disciples. Near Jericho the son of Timaeus lifts his blind eyes toward someone he senses is the “Son of David” (whatever he meant by that).
The ‘disciples’ tell him Jesus has no time for him. They’re busy, on their way to Jerusalem. Are we too busy, on our way to our own religious festivals of Lent and Easter.
Jesus stops, listens, invites Old Mate closer. There’s a vulnerable relationship of trust growing as Bartimaeus throws off his cloak; all he has to cover up his smell and grime.
It gets better (or worse J) as Jesus asks the dumbest question! To a blind and poor beggar – “What would you like me to do for you?”
Jesus asks and then listens some more.
The change for Bartimaeus brings huge challenges for him and for the ‘disciples’ who tried to ignore him. Still poor, dirty, stinky, “he received his sight and immediately followed Jesus along the road.”
It’s Lent and that road leads to Jerusalem, the Cross, and Resurrection life! Who are you inviting to come on that journey?
“Hey Phil, have you ever had a crisis moment when you really doubted the whole God and Jesus thing?”
When we open our eyes, discipleship is about Jesus’ invitation to honest relationships and the challenge to change.
Phil Smith is a Pastor at BELLS Faith Community, Bellvista, Sunshine Coast.