By Rev. Jeremy B. Stopford, Retired Pastor
Message #2 from the “Follow Me” Series
Originally preached September 4, 2011
Today’s Special: “A Diary Funny” .
Tonight I thought my husband was acting weird. We had made plans to meet at a nice restaurant for dinner. I was shopping with my friends all day long, so I thought he was upset at the fact that I was a bit late, but he made no comment on it. Conversation wasn’t flowing, so I suggested that we go somewhere quiet so we could talk. He agreed, but he didn’t say much.
I asked him what was wrong. He said, “Nothing.” I asked him if it was my fault that he was upset. He said he wasn’t upset, that it had nothing to do with me, and not to worry about it. On the way home, I told him that I loved him. He smiled slightly, and kept driving.
I can’t explain his behavior. I don’t know why he didn’t reply, “I love you, too.” When we got home, I felt as if I had lost him completely, as if he wanted nothing to do with me anymore. He just sat there quietly, and watched TV. He continued to seem distant and absent. Finally, with silence all around us, I decided to go to bed. About 15 minutes later, he came to bed. But I still felt that he was distracted, and his thoughts were somewhere else. He fell asleep; I cried. I don’t know what to do. I’m almost sure that his thoughts are with someone else. My life is a disaster.
“A four putt! Who FOUR putts? Arrrgghh.”
* Identify yourself: Are you a “fan” or “follower” of Jesus?
* “Follow Me” in Scripture will assist us in that answer!
A SIMPLE STORY (Matthew
This passage is in the context of our previous message, where Matthew had come to follow Jesus. Perhaps the blind men were in the area when Jesus said to Matthew, “Follow Me.” Perhaps they knew Matthew and his reputation for being a scoundrel. And now? Matthew following Jesus? Impossible!
Our text tells us about these two blind men who follow Jesus, present themselves to Him, and then are amazed that He asks them one simple question, “do you believe that I can do for you what you’ve been wanting all your lives, to see?” And then He replies, “it will be done to you according to your faith.” And it was!
What faith? What is there in this passage that we can follow as well?
Without taking too many liberties, let’s look at the dynamics of their faith!
2. AN AWESOME FAITH!
* They had an eternal affliction – they were blind. There were no eye surgeons. Their condition was hopeless. Their physical hopelessness was similar to the spiritual hopelessness of their – and our – day. Over and over Jesus calls the religious leaders of the day “blind guides”.
But our text tells us that they knew Isaiah 42:6,7. They knew that the Messiah was sent to heal the blindnesses of the world – especially the spiritual.
* They followed Jesus Considering their blindness, this no doubt was no easy task. They were out of their comfort zone, literally. And yet the text says, they followed Him wherever He went.
* They knew the Scriptures: “Son of David” is a Messianic term indicating that they believed the One they were following was the One promised in Scriptures to one day sit on David’s throne as King of Israel, and of the world. “Have mercy on us” is a phrase showing their remembrance of the mercy seat of the temple where animals were sacrificed to atone for national sins. This reminds us today of the cross. “Yes Lord” is a submission to Christ’s Lordship. Even if it is only to His being Master of their lives, that, too says volumes. How many masters are there in the world? They followed but One!
- “According to their faith” =
(1) A trust in truth
(Heb. 11:1,6): “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen…But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
(2) Active in love
(1 Cor. 13:2): “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love [“don’t love others” New Living Translation], I am nothing.”
(3) A trust in God’s Word
(Romans10:17): “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
(4) A focus on the eternal
(2 Corinthians 5:7): “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
(5) A powerful weapon:
(Ephesians 6:16) “above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.”
With that faith, they spread what they knew all over their world!
Close in Prayer