We hear a lot about Jesus being the Great Shepherd - and He is and we are so thankful. What a blessing to be in his flock as he protects and keeps us in green pastures. We even have the assurance that if we are to wander, He will leave the 99 and come and rescue us, bringing us back.
But we also read that Jesus is the Great Deacon - a minister of compassion and mercy. One example out of many in the life of Jesus is found in Matthew 20.29-34 when Jesus gives sight to two blind men. In verse 32 we read that Jesus stopped - the first step in showing mercy. Jesus cared for people by first of making time for them. He stopped in his busy schedule and he called them, What do you want me to do for you? The second step is looking for opportunities to show mercy. Stop but then ask and look for what needs to be done.
Well, the blind men asked to receive their sight. When we want to learn how to show mercy, we go to the latest book written or guru on caring out ministry in our modern culture. We ought to first look at the simple acts of Jesus - he stopped, he inquired and then he did three simple acts of kindness: Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes (Verse 34) He had compassion, he reached out and he touched them. That is the example of the Great Deacon.
Stop. Ask. Be compassionate. Reach out. Touch. The Great Deacon has preached a simple sermon on how to be a minister of mercy in our hurting world. We may not be able to heal the blind, but we are able to visit the sick, visit those in prison, give bread tot he hungry and water to the thirsty - and it all begins when we STOP our busy schedules and show mercy.