As He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the road. When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out and say, 'Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!' Many 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 said, 'Call him here.'
Who is the beggar at your gates? Is it the homeless person on your sidewalk? The man with a sign at your stoplight? The new kid with acne at your school? The girl with no date at your prom? The lady who sits alone at your church? The grumpy guy at work? The single mom next door?
Your grandmother in a nursing home? A prodigal you know in jail? A traveler stranded on a roadside when you're in a hurry? A stranger being attacked by a thug you can see? An acquaintance being attacked by gossip you can hear?
Stop and consider: Exactly who is on the outside looking in to your full, rich, and busy life? Is it an angel in disguise? Is it Jesus?
' 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?' Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life' (Matthew 25:44-46).
I am guilty on more accounts than I know and too many that I remember. Were it not for the Blood of Jesus, my fate would be dire. Were it not for the Book of Life, my ignorance would continue. But now I know better.
'You believe there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe--and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?' (James 2:19-20). 'Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin' (James 4:17).
But even in knowing better, do I continue to overlook the beggar at my gates? Do you?
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the The Beggar At Your Gates series.