[One sunny summer day, outside Jericho; names have been changed to protect the innocent. I admit to freely stealing from Pastor Johns' “38 Years a Slave” sermon]
Simeon: (seems to be a lot of foot traffic today; let’s see how willing they are to help) “Alms for the blind; alms for the blind”
Two farthings clink into his pottery container
Simeon: Thank you, thank you! The Lord bless you!!
A few more coins fall into the jar
Simeon: (this sounds like it will be a fruitful day; I wonder where all these people are going to. I’ll ask the next person who stops by; listens as a clinking sound indicates another coin in the jar)
Simeon: “Thank you so much! The Lord bless you! Could you tell me something – where is everyone going today?”
Ephraim: “Oh that’s right – you can’t see! Well, Jesus of Nazareth just passed by, and wherever He goes, the multitudes follow. So we’re following Him.”
Simeon: “Jesus of Nazareth, you say? The same Jesus who cleansed the ten lepers? The one who healed the man with dropsy, and the woman bent over at the waist? The one who casts out demons?”
Ephraim: “Yes, yes – that Jesus! He just walked by here.”
Simeon: “He just walked by here??? Lord have mercy! (shouts in a loud voice) Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Ephraim: “Hey, hey hey – look here man. You can’t be shouting like that”
Simeon: “You gotta be kidding me! Jesus just passed by!! I’m blind man – can’t you see??? And you expect me not to shout??? (shouts louder) Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!!”
Ephraiam: “Look – I’ll put a couple more coins in your jar, but you gotta stop all this noise. This is embarrassing!”
Simeon: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me! Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Ephraim: (drops coins in jar) “Look sir, I’m really going to have to ask you to pipe down. This is an orderly crowd we’ve got here. We don’t need rabble-rousers. What is your problem? Your jar looks really full today – more than you’d normally have! Please – just take the money and keep the noise down.”
Simeon: (Redskins-score-a-touchdown shouting level now) “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me! Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Ephraim: (shaking his head and muttering to himself): “This is so embarrassing. I don’t know why they haven’t cleaned up the streets – these beggars and panhandlers are just all over the place. We just want to follow Jesus and hear what He’s saying, and we have to contend with this noise! Where are the city officials? Sir!!! Can you please keep quiet??? I’m going to have to look for an officer if you can’t keep it down.”
Simeon (now doing a good old West Indian "holler": “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me! Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Jesus: “What’s the commotion? Who is calling me? Bring him to me!”
(Ephraim takes Simeon by the hand and leads him to Jesus)
Jesus: “What do you want Me to do for you?”
Simeon: “Lord, that I may receive my sight.”
Jesus: “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.”
And he immediately received his sight and followed Him, glorifying God. (Luke 18:43)
Huh. Can you believe Ephraim? So busy going to hear Jesus that he was ignoring somebody who really needed Him! Simeon was blind. The greatest Healer of all time was passing by, and Ephraim wanted to hush Simeon!!! The people were putting money into the blind man’s can, as they rushed to see the Man who could deliver him from his blindness!!! Putting. Money. Into. The. Blind. Man’s. Can. As. Jesus. Walked. By. Makes you wonder who was really blind, doesn’t it?
You gotta love Simeon though! They hush him, and the text says “…but he cried out all the more…” Simeon knew what was at stake and he wasn’t letting Jesus pass Him by. Didn’t matter how embarrassed everybody else was, or how they felt about what he was doing. Jesus was his chance for salvation and he was going to grab it. When it’s a matter of life and death, who cares what other people think? You're darn right you're going to shout as loudly as you can!!!
A Tale of Two People. Which are you?