How about a rebuke with your morning coffee?

It happened to me again this morning. I read something that I’m very familiar with and yet, a phrase I have never paid attention to before, jumped out at me. Well, it felt more like it leaped off the page and smacked me upside the head. Yep. A good old fashioned smack-down by the Holy Spirit. And honestly, I’m thankful. His holy smack-downs are done with such grace, gentleness and love, that I want to respond in repentance. Why? Because I know that my God is FOR me, not against me. 

Luke 18:35-43 

Jesus was on His way to Jericho and there was a blind man on the side of the road. When he heard the commotion and asked what was going on, he was told that Jesus was passing by. Immediately he began calling out, 

“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 

This always makes me smile. I try to picture the scene and I imagine an older man who had probably been blind and helpless his entire life. Relying on the kindness of others was his only hope in the world. He must have heard the stories about this Jesus person who had the power to heal. Maybe for the first time in his entire life he felt a quick, sharp pang of actual hope. And with every ounce of strength he could muster up, he yelled, his own voice piercing his darkness: 

“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 

What a beautiful picture of sheer and absolute desperation. What an authentic display of desperate hope. While I cannot relate to his physical blindness, certainly I know and can relate to a desperate need of the Savior’s mercy.

As I sat on my couch sipping my morning beloved cup of coffee, I’ll admit I was feeling good about this awesome little story in Luke. That is, until I read the next line:

 “Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet…” 

Granted, I have never given much thought to “those who led the way” other than to think, “What the heck is wrong with them? What’s their problem?? Surely they know Jesus loves to heal so why would they tell this poor man to be quiet??” But this morning, the phrase “those who led the way” struck a very personal chord.

For reasons I will never understand, God has placed me in leadership and I am in a position of “leading the way.” I’m ashamed to admit, there have been times I have become so focused on the ministry vision, mission, and hard work that has to be done, that I have dismissed the sideline cries coming from those who are desperate for hope. 

“I don’t have time to answer that email. I’m too busy.”

“I’ll call her back later. She can wait.”

“I don’t have time to sit and talk over coffee. I’ve got way too much work to do!”

And I justify my busyness and hard work and lack of availability all in the name of “ministry.”


No, seriously. Ouch.

I think it comes down to this: 

When ministry becomes more important than the people we are called to minister to,

we have missed the mark. 

I don’t want to miss the mark. What about you?


Sweet Jesus, thank you for the loving rebuke this morning. Please give me ears to hear what You hear, and eyes to see others the way You see them. And please Lord, give me Your heart, so I will respond like You would. Amen.