Thursday, April 10, 2014

Who Will Go to Bat for Them?

"Is he here yet?" Beth asked.

"No," her youngest son answered grimly.

Beth wrung her hands. What if he doesn't come this way? She looked at her oldest son, fully grown, a handsome young man, and felt sorrowful. He deserves more then this.

Thirty years ago she gave birth to her first child, a beautiful baby boy. Their joy was overwhelming, but a few days later they realized two things: he never cried or cooed, and he never paid any attention to their voices. A frantic trip to the physician confirmed their worst fears-her son was deaf and mute.

Over time they had healed from the shock. They adjusted their lives, and raised him up the best they could.

But Beth had always prayed for healing.

One day, rumors started flying through their small town about people flocking to a man who healed them. The rumors grew in strength and number. Many called him the Son of God.

Beth pleaded with her husband to find out more. He found out the next town the man, whose name was Jesus, was traveling to, and Beth knew this was their shot.

When their town heard they were going to see Jesus, many a man and woman packed for the journey and went with them. Their band of sixty was a close-knit group. A family.

"He's coming!"

"He's heading this way!"

Beth heard the shouts, and her heart started racing. It was time!

She caught her son's eye, and waved, motioning for him to follow her. He rose from where he'd been siting, and smiled easily. I wonder if he has any idea of what's about to happen...

Leaving the inn, they walked down the street, side by side, friends and family following behind them. They must have looked like a ragtag army. In some ways, Beth supposed they were. They were all fighting for his healing, his release.

They rounded a corner, and there stood her husband, talking with a small group of men. He caught sight of them, and waved wildly.

"This is my wife, and my son, who is deaf and mute." Her husband smiled nervously, and she noticed the twitch in his right eye that happened whenever he was uneasy.

Beth studied the group. Most of the men looked excited. A few looked bored. All of them looked towards the man in the middle.


Beth couldn't describe it. He wasn't what she had been picturing in her mind's eye, but there was something so familiar about him...

"Please heal my son." The words fell out before she could stop them.

Those four words started a hurricane of pleading. Sixty voices were all raised at once, pleading with Jesus to heal her son. To just lay hands on him. To make him whole.

Jesus motioned at the crowd, and his disciples held their index fingers over their mouths, trying to quiet them. Then Jesus motioned for her son to come aside with him.

All was quiet for a minute. Beth wrung her hands again. She had to know what was happening! She ignored the disciples and peaked around the corner. Jesus had his fingers in her son's ear! Then he spit, and touched his tongue. He gave him a loving look, then looked towards Heaven. "Be opened."

Beth heard the most beautiful sound of her life.

Her son croaked and coughed.

"My sweet son!" She ran towards him, arms open.

His head swung towards the sound. He opened his arms and caught her in a hug. "Mother!"

Based on Mark 7:31-35

This man was death and mute. He couldn't hear what was going on in the world around him. Can you imagine never hearing that someone loves you? That was everyday life for him. He couldn't speak either, so his family never heard his voice. He had been dealt a rough hand in life, but one he had probably grown accustomed to living. A life without words. A very quiet bubble.

One day Jesus comes along, and he is dragged out before Him!

Verse 32 says that they brought him and they begged Jesus to heal him. His family. The people who loved him. His community. They bound together and pleaded on his behalf.

The people in his life knew that there was more for him then this. They refused to settle. They stepped up to the plate and went to bat for him. Jesus saw that and loved it. Instead of just laying hands on him, Jesus went beyond that and personally touched his life.

"First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made for all people."
1 Timothy 2:1

Are we like the "they" in this man's story? Without their love, their strength, and their own pleading to God, this man would have remained mute and deaf.

We need to be the kind of body, the kind of friend, the kind of person who will personally go to God on the behalf of others. There is a world deaf to the voice of God. There is a person unable to say why they feel empty inside. There are people sick and dying. Who will go on their behalf?

"Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven." James 5:14-15

As the body of Christ, you and I are supposed to go. We can't quietly slink by thinking, "Well, that's too bad." We need to be the one with the faith to call on the Lord, and pray for them. We need to be the one to expose them to God. We need to be the person with the faith that God will move in that person's life.

There are millions of people out there. Who will go to bat for them?

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