weekly word – 12/21/23

Jesus Others You


          This week’s word is a little different from the usual. I thought I would have a little fun with it and make it a challenge for you. Here we go. This is about JOY! 

          Do you have Joy? Do you uses the word in your daily interactions with others? Follow me through these verses and see if you can figure out what I mean when I ask the question.

          Mark 10: 46-52

          They came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a large crowd, Bartimaeus (the son of Timaeus), a blind beggar, was sitting by the road. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 Many warned him to keep quiet, but he was crying out all the more, “Have mercy on me, Son of David!” 

          49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called the blind man and said to him, “Have courage! Get up; he’s calling for you.” 

          50 He threw off his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus.

          51 Then Jesus answered him, “What do you want me to do for you?”

          “Rabboni,”[l] the blind man said to him, “I want to see.”

          52 Jesus said to him, “Go, your faith has saved you.” Immediately he could see and began to follow Jesus on the road.

Jesus -- Bartimaeus -- the Crowd

           Mark 10: 17-21

          As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

          18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: Do not murder; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not bear false witness; do not defraud; honor your father and mother.

          20 He said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these from my youth.”

          21 Looking at him, Jesus loved him and said to him, “You lack one thing: Go, sell all you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 But he was dismayed by this demand, and he went away grieving, because he had many possessions.

Jesus -- The disciples -- The Rich Young Ruler  


          John 11:38-44

          Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39 “Remove the stone,” Jesus said. Martha, the dead man’s sister, told him, “Lord, there is already a stench because he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”41 So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you heard me. 42 I know that you always hear me, but because of the crowd standing here I said this, so that they may believe you sent me.” 43 After he said this, he shouted with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out bound hand and foot with linen strips and with his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unwrap him and let him go.”

Jesus -- Martha -- Lazarus

          In each of these three passages there are three players -- Jesus, the one he interacts with, and a third entity. The thing that strikes me is that Jesus is the important one in each of these passages, but He is the “doer.” He performs the action and it is not about Him: it is about someone else. His actions in each of these passages is to the “other” -- the middle letter in the word JOY. 

          With Bartimaeus, he gives him his sight, but in the end, Bartimaeus follows him. And as Rick pointed out on Sunday, we don’t know any more than that.  But there is another Bartimaeus in the stories of Paul. Is it the same one? We don’t know, but maybe. 

          In the passage of the Rich Young Ruler, Jesus gives him he answer to his question. He tells him what it takes to receive what he wants, and he gives him the choice to say Yes or No, The man chooses and walks away. Jesus uses this as a teaching time for whom? His disciples. They needed the further instructions to become the men that he wanted them to become, to carry on the work when He was not with them any longer.

          The passage in John with Jesus, Martha, and Lazarus is the same, as I see it. Jesus raised Lazarus.  He was the tool by which He taught His lesson to Martha and the crowd. The lesson was simply that Martha and the people had to understand that He was who He said He was, and by His action they saw “the Glory of God”.

          As we face the times before us, we need to consider the word JOY. I’m sure that you see it as a word but look at it again as an acrostic. 

Jesus -- Others -- You

          What is really important in our ministries?   -- Jesus

          Who do we minister to?  -- Others


          And finally, we need to be aware of ourselves   -- You

          We are the tools He uses to reach the world like Bartimaeus, the Rich Young Ruler, and Lazarus. We are NOT the stars of the show.  Amen?   AMEN!

          In Sunday school, our children learned a simple song.  Sing it with me. 

Jesus and Others and You, what a wonderful way to spell Joy.

Jesus and others and you, 

in the hearts of each girl and each boy. 

J is for Jesus, for He has first place.  

O is for others we meet face to face.  

Y is for you in whatever you do, 

so put yourself third and spell JOY.         

Written by: B. Metzger, 1951

Ed Johanson