Focal Passages: Proverbs 24:11-12; Mark 10:46-49
Our son lives in Baltimore, where there is a noticeable homelessness problem. Some months ago my wife and I went up to visit, and on an occasion when we were walking to get some lunch, passed by a female apparently asleep on the sidewalk.
As we placed sandwich orders, our son ordered two subs. Why? He took one of them to the woman, who unfortunately refused the sandwich. We were, however, very proud of our son who valued the homeless woman the same way he valued his closest friends.
Jesus valued everyone. He did not look down on anyone because of the color of the skin or the content of the bank account. When Jesus encountered the blind son of Timaeus, it was not surprising that Jesus would grant his request for healing. Furthermore, we see that Jesus did not listen to the crowd who found Bartimaeus’ pleas embarrassing.
Jesus responded to need, not public opinion.
He also responded to faith, Bartimaeus’ faith that prompted this thankful man to begin a new journey following Jesus (Mark 10:52).
The principle of “rescuing” (Proverbs 24:11a) the most vulnerable and helpless among us comes from God Himself. We are to be a compassionate, forgiving and loving people.
However, “rescuing” does not mean that evil or the evildoer should not be punished by a fair justice system. Biblical Israel was a nation of laws. Likewise, we also live in a nation of laws; our hope is that these laws will keep us safe and free. Ultimately, though, we trust that God will be the final arbiter of justice (24:12b).
Valuing all people means we are to do what is right, leaving the results to God. Our son could not make the homeless lady eat. But he could, and did, try to help her. To him, she was not a problem to be avoided. Likewise, Bartimaeus and the countless others in need were not problems, but opportunities.