"CAST OUT, BROUGHT NEAR"
Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him He said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" He answered, "And who is He, sir, that I may believe in Him?" Jesus said to him, "You have seen Him, and it is He who is speaking to you." He said, "Lord, I believe," and he worshiped Him. (John 9:35-38)
Yesterday we looked at the story of the blind man Jesus healed. His story didn't end with the healing, unfortunately. Because the whole thing happened on the Sabbath day, the Pharisees poked their noses in. They forced the man to give an account of his healing. And when they couldn't believe his story, they brought his parents in to testify.
The man's family was understandably scared. As John explains, "they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue" (John 9:22b). Faced with excommunication, they chickened out. "We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself" (John 20b-21).
How horrible, to be abandoned by your family! But the newly healed man had courage. He went on telling the truth about what Jesus did—and got kicked out.
Abandoned by family, abandoned by the church—these are things that should never happen to anybody. But they do happen, and to far too many people, even today. They may have happened to you. If so, you know the devastation.
Jesus did, too. And so the first thing He did when He heard about it was to search out the man and make sure he was okay. Notice—God Himself went looking for this man who had been abandoned and excommunicated. And when He found him, He brought him into a different kind of community—the community of the children of God, those who belong to Jesus and will never ever be abandoned by Him.
If you are facing abandonment, run to Jesus. He can help, and He will. His heart hurts for yours. Cling to Him with all your might. He lay down His life for you. You can be absolutely sure He will never let you go.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, help those who are alone and abandoned, and bring them close to You. Amen.
* Do you know anyone rejected by family or church?
* When, if ever, have you felt alone and outcast?
* How do you find help in the Lord during those times?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Today's Bible Readings: Numbers 20-22 Mark 15:26-47
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"