Tuesday, February 15, 2022

A Touch of Encouragement

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

And they came to Bethsaida. And they brought a blind man to Jesus and implored Him to touch him. Taking the blind man by the hand, He brought him out of the village… 
Mark 8:22-23a

A Touch of Encouragement

Our story this week involves a man who had lost his sight.  No record is given as to how long he had been blind or how his blindness has occurred.  It is merely a description of his condition.  He had some hope for healing when friends took him to Jesus. This man is touched three times by Jesus as He heals him, each act fulfilling a specific purpose.  

they” Is the Name of Compassionate People  ... 

Once again we find that special group of people showing up.  The Scriptures tell us that "they", perhaps this man's friends or family, brought him to Jesus.  It is the concept of being a "Stretcher Bearer."  These people had enough faith and action to know that if they could get him to Jesus he could be healed.  The Scriptures say they "implored" (begged) Jesus to touch this man.  Theirs was a shared faith and action.  Do we believe Jesus can still heal and change the lives of people?  

After the request to touch the blind man, Jesus touches him with a touch of encouragement.  "He took the man by the hand and led him outside the town."  Why .... when Jesus usually healed on the spot, ... would he take this man out of the town of Bethsaida?  We might find a hint about his in Matthew 11:20-21.  Then He began to denounce the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.”  

The city of Bethsaida had become too calloused to be touched by Jesus.  Even today there are men with calloused hearts toward the true touch of Jesus.  There are churches with empty altars and no prayers for healing.  God is moving and working among us to touch us and yet we must be in a place that is receptive to His touch.  How sad that someone might not be able to find what they are looking for because we are too calloused to open our hearts and expect Him to work in our midst.  People will encourage their friends to go where they know healing can occur.  This man, thanks to friends, would be the recipient of a touch of encouragement.  As Jesus took this man by the hand to lead him, I believe it was ....  

  • A Personal Touch ... Tender & Loving 

At some point in life our families, friends, and even strangers will need a personal and compassionate touch from us.  Jesus shows us how. Jesus showed an INTEREST in the man.  I'm sure this man was perhaps lonely and discouraged, having to live in darkness.  And now, for this moment, all attention was being given to him.  

The world wants to know if we are interested in them personally.  People really want to know that God loves them and they are looking for that love through you and me. Jesus took the time to touch! Chances are that there was an individual who stopped and listened to you when you came to Christ. 

  • A Patient Touch ... No Hurry 

Hope was born as Jesus took the time for this man.  God is so patient with us!  We live in an "impatient generation."  We stand at the microwave and scream “hurry up!"  With people we seem to have even less patience!  But Jesus was patient and brought a hopeful encouragement to this man.  We must do the same.  It takes time to heal people or help people. 

So we learn from this first touch of Jesus that compassion motivates us to reach out to those who the world passes by.  Those who will help take time to stop and encourage those who have needs.  Think about it. The last help you had given to you was surely by someone who stopped long enough to listen and then encouraged you.  Passing along that compassion can be a blessing to someone in your life today.

I will lead the blind by a way they do not know, In paths they do not know I will guide them. I will make darkness into light before them And rugged places into plains. These are the things I will do, And I will not leave them undone. Isaiah 42:16

Devotional Archive