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The Rock Which Offends

Romans 9:30-33 (KJV)

What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained no righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

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Brokenness and the Two Debtors

Luke 7:40-50 (NASB)

And Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he replied, “Say it, Teacher.” “A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?” Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have judged correctly.” Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.” Those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this man who even forgives sins?” And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

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When the Son Stood Still

Luke 18:35-43 (NASB)

As Jesus was approaching Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the road begging. Now hearing a crowd going by, he began to inquire what this was. They told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. And he called out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Those who led the way were sternly telling him to be quiet; but he kept crying out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and commanded that he be brought to Him; and when he came near, He questioned him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And he said, “Lord, I want to regain my sight!” And Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him, glorifying God; and when all the people saw it, they gave praise to God.

This text is remarkable for several reasons, but the primary one is that it is the only place in the Bible where it is said, Jesus stood still (v. 40, KJV). The NAS translates it “stopped,” but I like the language, “Jesus stood still.” We are told that Jesus went about doing good and that He was constantly on the move. In fact, earlier in this chapter (v. 31), Jesus said to His disciples, “We are going to Jerusalem where the Son of Man will be beaten and killed.” The Messiah says, “I set my face like a flint toward Jerusalem (Isaiah 50:7). As Jesus follows the road to Jerusalem from Jericho we find a blind beggar waits for Him outside the city.

“Son of David, have mercy on me.”

  1. Jesus stood still...
    This stand at attention reminds me of a father who hears his child’s voice call out. It is the posture of someone whose attention has been transfixed by a voice or a phrase. In Joshua’s day ‘the sun stood still... in the middle of the day’ (Joshua 10:13), but surely there is no greater miracle than the Son standing still on His way to Jerusalem to die. The King of Kings stops at the call of a blind man.

  2. Jesus called out...
    We are not sure what Jesus said. The NIV says Jesus said, “Call him," but those words are not in the original. We don’t know if He called Bartimaeus by name or if He simply called out for the man to come. We do know that the call was very personal because everyone told Bartimaeus to go, because “He calls for you” (Mark 10:49). There is no greater honor than the Son of God to call your name.

  3. Jesus reached forth...
    He reached forth to the blind man and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” (v. 51). We can fathom a king beckoning a servant to do his bidding, but it is a rare thing for a king, much less the King of Kings, to ask a blind beggar what He can do for him. The million-dollar question for us this morning:

Will Jesus Christ ever do the same thing for me?

  1. When I pray like Bartimaeus - “Son of David, have mercy on me! (vs. 38, 39).
    Jesus will walk right past the inn of merit . . . but He takes up residence in the inn of mercy. Mercy --- “relieving one’s misery with the understanding that the misery is deserved.” “The tree of mercy will not drop its fruits unless shaken by the hand of mercy” (Thomas Watson). Do you plead for mercy or merit?

  2. When I persevere like Bartimaeus - “They told him to be quiet, but he cried all the more” (v. 39).
    This prayer for God’s mercy is like the parable of the persistent widow. The blind man did not let his limitations, his friends or his past stop him. He needed a touch from the Savior, and he refused to stop until he found it.

  3. When I am persuaded like Bartimaeus - “Throwing aside his cloak, he came to Jesus” (Mark 10:50).
    Mark’s account uses a strong word (ekballon) to describe how he “cast off’ or “threw” his outer cloak. Blind people don’t cast things off unless they are convinced they can find them again. This story illustrates for us what it means to come to God for forgiveness, peace, or purpose. Call to Him today.
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The Outer Court/The Garments of Aaron

Exodus 27:9-21 (NASB)

“You shall make the court of the tabernacle. On the south side there shall be hangings for the court of fine twisted linen one hundred cubits long for one side; and its pillars shall be twenty, with their twenty sockets of bronze; the hooks of the pillars and their bands shall be of silver. Likewise for the north side in length there shall be hangings one hundred cubits long, and its twenty pillars with their twenty sockets of bronze; the hooks of the pillars and their bands shall be of silver. For the width of the court on the west side shall be hangings of fifty cubits with their ten pillars and their ten sockets. The width of the court on the east side shall be fifty cubits. The hangings for the one side of the gate shall be fifteen cubits with their three pillars and their three sockets. And for the other side shall be hangings of fifteen cubits with their three pillars and their three sockets. For the gate of the court there shall be a screen of twenty cubits, of blue and purple and scarlet material and fine twisted linen, the work of a weaver, with their four pillars and their four sockets. All the pillars around the court shall be furnished with silver bands with their hooks of silver and their sockets of bronze. The length of the court shall be one hundred cubits, and the width fifty throughout, and the height five cubits of fine twisted linen, and their sockets of bronze. All the utensils of the tabernacle used in all its service, and all its pegs, and all the pegs of the court, shall be of bronze.

“You shall charge the sons of Israel, that they bring you clear oil of beaten olives for the light, to make a lamp burn continually. In the tent of meeting, outside the veil which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall keep it in order from evening to morning before the Lord; it shall be a perpetual statute throughout their generations for the sons of Israel.

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The Kiss of Love

Song of Solomon 1:2; 8:1-2 (KJV)

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine. O that thou wert as my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother! When I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; yea, I should not be despised. I would lead thee, and bring thee into my mother's house, who would instruct me: I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate.

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A Heart to Talk

John 15:1-2 (KJV)

I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every brankch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

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The Believer's Battle

Romans 7:16-22 (KJV)

If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is nor more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man.

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Believing God

Genesis 15:1-6 (KJV)

After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. And Abram said, LORD God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

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