Last week in church I talked about some of the revelations that I received in attending the Global Leadership Summit. Bill Hybels said there were 5 important points that made for good leaders – they had grit and determination to see their vision achieved; they were resourceful and inventive to find their way around problems; they had a self-sacrificing love for others; they knew how to create vision and meaning for others and they were self-aware. By self-aware, I mean, they knew their weaknesses and trusted others to help them discover their blind spots.
Blind spots – we all have them. When you try to change lanes in your car you need to be aware of your blind spots or you could have an accident. But blind spots are not just physical – blind spots are areas of our life where others can see our failings, but we can’t. Often, without the assistance of trusted friends, we can go through life blissfully unaware that we have a problem. Jesus came to give sight to the blind! Today’s story from Mark 10:46-52 gives us a glimpse of who was really blind and who really saw Jesus for who he was.
Bartimaeus was a blind man who wouldn’t be denied. When Jesus came down his road he knew that he was the only hope that he had to live a normal life again. But Jesus’ disciples tried to stop him from coming to Jesus. You would have thought that they would have learnt by now…stopping the little children from coming and being rebuked by Jesus – fighting about who would be the greatest….and being rebuked by Jesus…and now, they were trying to silence the cries of the blind for sight. Didn’t Jesus come ‘to bring sight to the blind’? (Luke 4:18) So what were they missing? Why were they blind and what did the blind man see that they didn’t?
Bartimaeus recognised Jesus as the Messiah (the son of David). He saw Jesus for who he is and he cried out for help. In response to this insight – Jesus gave him back what he asked for, but also much, much more. For in the moment of revelation – in seeing and being touched by Jesus, Bartimaeus becomes a follower along the way. He picks himself up and follows Jesus. The early church believers were called followers of the way…but what Bartimaues found was that Jesus was not only the way; but the truth and the life. His clear revelation of who Jesus is was in stark contrast to the blind spots of his other disciples. Yet, ultimately, with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight – after the cross and resurrection – they too saw Jesus and worshipped him for who he is, not for what he can do.
So, when you look to Jesus, what do you see? Do you see Jesus the teacher; the social advocate; the rebel; or the prophet? Or do you truly recognise Jesus as the Messiah – the one who God sent to help you see what God sees. Ask Jesus to reveal your blind spots – but in doing so, be willing to make some changes and step up and follow Jesus along the way.