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A Passing Opportunity

 

bartimeus

 

Memory Verse: Mark 10:46-52

 

I. Introduction: An opportunity is defined as a favorable occasion when we have the option of making a decision that could have a positive impact. Times like this are a gift from the Lord.

But too often, we let opportunities pass us by, failing to recognize the heavenly Father sent them. So how can we avoid missing what He has in store for us? The Bible teaches us about a blind beggar named Bartimaeus who experienced Jesus’ love in an unexpected way. We, too, need to remain sensitive to God’s activity in and around us. That way, we can be sure to not miss what He has planned for our lives.

 

II. Learning from the Story of Bartimaeus

A. In Jesus’ day, people believed that a person’s blindness or disease was caused by sin—either his own or his parents’ (John 9:2). But our Savior values everyone, including the disabled. He sees their impairments not as an indication of sinfulness, but as a chance for His Father’s power to be revealed (John 9:3).

B. Because it was right before the Passover, many people were walking through Jericho to Jerusalem. Bartimaeus had heard of a man from Nazareth named Jesus, who was known for healing the blind and performing many other miracles. But he didn’t expect to have the opportunity to meet Him in person.

C. How do we sharpen our ability to identify the opportunities God brings? Observe how the Lord worked in the lives of people from Old and New Testament stories. Also, look at how He works in the lives of others around you. God will work through the Holy Spirit to make you sensitive to His voice.

D. Once we learn how God operates, we must choose to walk in faith, as Bartimaeus did. He could easily have believed that it was impossible either to be healed or to meet the Son of God. But Bartimaeus cried out in hope (Mark 10:47), even though others in the crowd tried to hush him.

E. Jesus’ reply to this poor man’s plea for mercy is crucial. It demonstrates that He is willing to listen to our cries for help, no matter what condition we’re in.

F. Notice that Jesus asked Bartimaeus, “What do you want Me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51). Do you realize that Jesus has probably said that to you many times? Like Bartimaeus, He wants you to tell Him what you need. Nobody is insignificant in the eyes of God. He wants to speak to you because He loves you and desires a personal, intimate relationship with all His children.

G. In response to Bartimaeus’s faith, Jesus healed his blindness. Immediately upon regaining his eyesight, Bartimaeus began following Jesus.

 

III. What Is Our Responsibility?

The Lord creates opportunities for us to fulfill His plan and purpose for our lives (Eph. 2:10). But what is our responsibility? We need to: 

A. Ask ourselves what God has already done for us.

B. Recognize that He will not give opportunities without providing all we need to fulfill them through the power of the Holy Spirit.

C. Make a decision to follow the voice of the Lord.

D. Persist without giving up, even if others criticize us.

E. Be people who take advantage of every God-given opportunity.

 

IV. Conclusion: Jesus’ walk through Jericho was not just any opportunity for Bartimaeus—it was his only chance. It was the last time the Lord would walk that way to Jerusalem before His crucifixion.

For us as children of God, there are promising new roads to take every day. But we have to decide: Do we believe the Lord? Do we want to explore what He has to offer us? Take advantage of the unique and exciting opportunities God has planned just for you. My friend, I promise you will not regret it.

 

Dr. Charles F. Stanley. Copyright 2011 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.