“As Jesus and the disciples left the town of Jericho, a large crowd followed behind. Two blind men were sitting beside the road. When they heard that Jesus was coming that way, they began shouting, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” “Be quiet!” the crowd yelled at them. But they only shouted louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” When Jesus heard them, he stopped and called, “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord,” they said, “we want to see!” Jesus felt sorry for them and touched their eyes. Instantly they could see! Then they followed him.” – Matthew 20:29-34.
What is a good investment today? Blue chip stocks from a few years ago are no longer blue chips. Financial investing has always been risky, and the risk has increased with a volatile world economy. An investment that always provides a positive return is investing in the lives of people.
People don’t usually put the words “investment” and “people” in the same sentence. It seems strange because most people think of the word “investment” in the realm of finance where you commit money to a stock or bond with the expectation of a future return. But how many people have invested in you and me during our lifetimes. I have often talked about the importance of relationships in the Christian community. It starts with our relationship with God which then flows on to our relationships with one another. Investing in one another is central to accomplishing our purpose of enjoying and declaring the grace of God. McFarland USA is a movie about investing in the lives of migrant farm workers.
How did Jesus go about accomplishing His mission? He invested in His disciples and they, in turn, did the same. The gospel is alive and well today because one person decided to spend time with another person to be their friend, bring them to Jesus, build them in their faith and equip them to do the same.
Jesus’ encounter with two blind men on the Jericho road reveals several key principles for investing our lives in others. First, we must slow down. Matthew 20:32 says, “Jesus stopped“. What appears to be a rather simple fact is actually a significant step in serving others. Jesus was leaving Jericho. He had another appointment. He had already spent time ministering in Jericho, and now he was going to another town. But, he stopped! Coach White had a busy schedule but then he noticed something; these kids were fast. Our pace of life often becomes so fast that we speed past opportunities to invest in people. Jesus allowed His temporary schedule to be interrupted for an eternal investment.
We can feel ill-prepared to “invest” in others. “I can’t do that.” “That’s just not me.” “I’m not equipped for that.” But my experience has taught me that what influences people is not your intellect, knowledge of scriptures, background in psychology, personality or the other things that you would think you would need to invest in others. What you hear is: “He took time to pray with me.” “She took a genuine interest in me.” “He helped me understand the Bible.” “I watched her as she told others about Jesus.” “We went to church together.”
My prayer is that Northstar will be a church that invests in people. That we will be people who readily spend time with other people for the purpose of encouragement and growth so they, in turn, would do the same.
- Who’s on your radar to “invest” in?
- Are you paying attention to the people opportunities God is giving you? What might be holding you back from helping another person in their Christian growth?
- How do we slow down to see the opportunities that God is giving us?
- What can we do this week to start investing in others?