Convenient targets

Mark 10:46-52: When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.”
A publication called The Science of Good and Evil explores the causes of morality in human beings. It says of our tendencies, “Depicting an enemy as evil or subhuman allows us to forgive our own immoral behavior.”
Identifying external targets does help us deny spiritual forces that might transform us into more Christ-like human beings. If I can persuade myself that my mistakes were caused by someone else, I can not only erase guilt but can also go unchanged.
To pull off those tricks, though, we have to distinguish ourselves from other human beings. We have to see them as outsiders who do not deserve the benefits we ourselves expect. When a blind man named Bartimaeus called out to Jesus for help, the ‘insiders’ among Jesus’ followers tried to silence him. But Jesus pushed back, inviting the man and listening to him.
The body of Christ is not limited to those we narrow-minded humans choose to include. The body of Christ invites all persons to draw near for healing, for vision, for comfort.
And if we do not embrace them, we have to admit that we have engaged in “our own immoral behavior.”
Psalm 102; 2 Samuel 15: 19-37; Acts 21: 37-22:16
Copyright 2019 by Carol Mead. This material is copyrighted, but you may forward it electronically in its entirety to others. For noncommercial use and sharing only. To subscribe free, please visit the website at

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