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Pass me not ... SANKEY EVENING 04

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Passing by …

Pass me not, O gentle Saviour,
Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.

Saviour, Saviour,
Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.

                                                                                Fanny Crosby

LUKE 18 35-43

35 As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. 37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”

38 He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

39 Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

40 Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?”

“Lord, I want to see,” he replied.

42 Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” 43 Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.

Luke tells us how Jesus started His final journey to Jerusalem.  As he approaches Jericho the noise of the crowd provokes Bartimaeus to ask what was happening.

“JESUS OF NAZARETH IS PASSING BY” – said the crowd.

Bartimaeus has heard of Jesus, and he cries out for help.  The people in the crowd try to silence him – but he persists. Jesus stops and summons him.   As a result of his persistence and his cry Jesus rewards his faith.   Bartimaeus follows Jesus.

That is a very simple story – and I believe it is appropriate to tonight’s service not only because of Fanny Crosby’s hymn – but because it tells us that – like Bartimaeus we still have an opportunity to meet Jesus Christ, and opportunity for our lives to be fundamentally changed.

Tonight is about singing old songs – but the old songs have one central message and that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

He came to this earth and lived amongst men and women. He taught and healed and declared the good news of God’s love.  

Most of all He came to make that journey to Jerusalem, there to die on a cruel cross in order to fulfil God’s plan for dealing with evil and human sin.

There is a very real sense even tonight – that JESUS PASSES BY.   You can sit where you are and simply listen to the hymns or even join in with them and be the same person you were when you leave this building as when you came in.   But there is a possibility that – as you have listened to the familiar hymns of a bye-gone age you may have been made to reflect on the One who is the subject of those hymns.

BARTIMAEUS WAS DETERMINED TO MEET JESUS

What he had heard about Him, and his own desperate condition made him call out

In words that show he knew that Jesus was more than a passing teacher:

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

Now there’s an old fashioned cry if ever there was one!

HAVE MERCY ON ME!

KYRIE ELEISON!

I don’t know about you – but Bartimaeus’ words will suit me.

But they are not the words of a LITURGY  - they are a heart-felt cry for Jesus to intervene in a  person’s life.

I need the MERCY OF CHRIST – bought at such great cost upon His cross, and guaranteed once for all in His resurrection.

LORD JESUS – HAVE MERCY ON ME

THEY TRIED TO SILENCE HIM

 

And some people are easily silenced.  

Perhaps you can remember a time when you too called out to God for help?

Perhaps He heard you and you followed Him then – and do so still.

Perhaps you no longer cry out to Him for help?

There are so many forces at work in the world – trying to prevent us from reaching a real personal relationship with Him.

BARTIMAEUS WAS NOT GOING TO LET THE OPPORTUNITY PASS BY

 

And Jesus stopped in His tracks and summoned him:

What can I do for you?

Ah! What indeed!

For Bartimaeus it will start with his most pressing need -  I want to see!

And the crowd will move on – and a little further down the road they’ll come across Zacchaeus climbed into a tree – and Zacchaeus too has needs ….

We remind you tonight that the One who is the subject of our praise – whether in Sankey’s music or more modern genre – Jesus passes by.   He may well have made contact before – but we let Him go on.

It is our message – like that of Ira D Sankey and Moody, and Wesley before them, and a whole multitude of gospel speakers before – THAT JESUS HIMSELF IS THE ONE WHO ALONE CAN MEET YOUR NEED.

What does He ask?

For a crying out for mercy – FORGIVENESS – pardon – salvation.

For a FAITH that will not let the moment go unless He changes us

For a willingness to FOLLOW Him.                 Don’t let Him pass by!

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