Dinoferric! Rivers of Faith, Part 7


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Dinoferric! Rivers of Faith, Part 7

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a cam on White IslandA view of White Island

Did you know that a dinosaur is living on White Island in New Zealand? It's not the kind we see in a Jurassic Park kind of movie. Rather, it was purchased at a toy store. But it's a dinosaur, all the same!

White Island, an active volcano off the eastern coast of the Northern Island of New Zealand, is monitored closely by webcams, and as long as everything stays quiet, it is also visited daily by boatloads and helicopters full of tourists.

The dinosaur suddenly appeared in May of 2004, near one of the webcams. The pink plastic miniature probably fell out of the pocket of some tourist visiting the island, but it landed right in the line of sight of the cam and it became an immediate internet sensation. People from all over the globe, even those who had never heard of White Island, began checking out the webcam, and the toy soon inherited the name, Dino. In fact, Dino soon became so famous that journalists worldwide began visiting the island to take its picture.

A few years later the webcam was moved to more robust housing, and Dino was repositioned to still be in its viewfinder. Dino had become the island's mascot!

Isn't it amazing how one tiny plastic dinosaur can create such an incredible interest in a faraway volcanic island? And all because people saw it on the island's webcam! What we see really does impacts us!

Can you imagine the impact it would have on our lives if we kept our eyes fixed on Jesus all of the time? It would most certainly "shoot adrenaline" into our very souls!

"Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed - that exhilarating finish in and with God - he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!" (Heb 12:2-3 The Message)

The impact of having our eyes fixed on Jesus can be seen in the life of Bartimaeus, a blind man from Jericho.

Jesus and his disciples were surrounded by a large crowd as they left the city. Bartimaeus just happened to be begging at the roadside at the time, and when he heard that Jesus of Nazareth was around, he stopped begging and instead began to shout: "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" (Mark 10:47 NIV)

Now many of Bartimaeus' contemporaries didn't believe in Jesus: "Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" (John 1:46 NIV). But not Bartimaeus. He looked to Jesus as the "son of David", in other words, the Messiah. ("Jesus asked them, 'What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?' 'The son of David,' they replied." Matt 22:41-42 NIV)

As soon as he started to shout, people began rebuking him. Isn't this so typical of those who specialize in criticism? But it didn't discourage Bartimaeus. He shouted all the louder: "Son of David, have mercy on me!" (Mark 10:48 NIV)

Although the noise of the crowd around Jesus must have been deafening, Jesus stopped. Just like He hears us each time we call out in need, He heard Bartimaeus' call for help. "Call him" (Mark 10:49 NIV) Jesus said.

Although Jesus didn't mention the blind beggar by name, everybody knew it was Bartimaeus, and as soon as that poor beggar heard Jesus' invitation, he threw his precious cloak aside. After all, it would only hinder him from reaching Jesus quickly! He then jumped to his feet and came forward as fast as he could. He couldn't wait to be with Jesus!

Jesus asked him: "What do you want me to do for you?" (Mark 10:51 NIV)

But wait. Didn't Jesus know what Bartimaeus wanted? Couldn't He see that the man was blind?

But just like we like to hear from the mouths of our children what is bothering them, Jesus wanted to hear the blind man tell Him what was on his heart.

The answer was simple: "Rabbi, I want to see." (Mark 10:51 NIV)

Immediately Bartimaeus received his sight with these encouraging words from Jesus "Go …your faith has healed you." (Mark 10:52 NIV)

Can you imagine what Bartimaeus saw when his eyes opened for the first time? Something much more terrific than a pink plastic dinosaur! He saw the love of the Messiah written on Jesus' face! And it changed him radically. At that moment he couldn't help but follow "Jesus along the road." (Mark 10:52 NIV) Jesus had been the only One who truly cared for Him. Jesus didn't ignore him. He didn't even try to silence him. Instead He showered Bartimaeus with perfect love, and this love compelled Bartimaeus to become a follower of the Christ.

I can assure you that Bartimaeus never forgot that face so filled with compassion. His life was changed forever.

We too, will be forever changed if we make the decision to stay focused on Jesus, no matter what.

What we see truly does impact us!

Just like Dino, the plastic dinosaur on White Island.

Rob Chaffart

 

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