I have long been troubled by the hucksters who call themselves “Christian” on television and in the media while it’s painfully obvious that they’re more about fleecing Jesus’ flock than feeding His sheep. This afternoon I caught a 60-second bit on Christian radio that jumped out of the speakers at me. I have no idea if it was the author’s intent to present a scathing indictment of the prosperity gospel thieves like those named in the Shai Linne rap “False Teacher$,” bit it sure caught my attention and the rest of the prosperity gospel thieves who sell a message that Jesus wants everyone to be rich and successful (in human terms). The following is from francisanfuso.com and was aired on KLOVE radio under the headline “What Do You Want Jesus To Do?”:
When a blind man named Bartimaeus was yelling, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Some of those around him said, “Be quiet!” But Jesus said, “Come here! What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:46-52) This could be a funny question to ask a blind man. “Who me? Oh, I’ve always wanted to be rich and famous!” But it was a real question. What we ask for is an indication of what’s most important to us! If the first person you want to see is Jesus, He will heal your sight. If the first person you want to follow is Jesus, He’ll give you a fresh start. The question is what do you want? Where is your faith? That’s where God wants to meet you today. And it is there you will receive what you need if you had every option.
Did you catch it? Jesus asks a blind man a simple and honest question. The blind man answered honestly: “I want to see.” Notice he didn’t say he’d like a new chariot, new clothes, a job or even for a lot of money so he could feed the poor – things that we’re so often told to “pray in Jesus’ name and just have faith” and it’ll be delivered to us in under 30 minutes like a pizza. The poor guy just wanted to see. Let’s be careful to not assume that because Jesus said it was the man’s faith that healed him that He’s going to heal everyone of cancer or other ailments because they ask. I have no answer for why God allows children to die of cancer as their parents pray, lets hard-working husbands to lose their jobs in spite of their regular church attendance and a myriad of other human tragedies. I do know – because I’ve lived it – that life is messy; there are no quick answers to live’s big problems that can be solved in under an hour like we see on television; and, people are hurting. What amazes me as I read the historical accounts of Jesus’ life on Earth is his genuine care for people in the moment who sought him out. What an example for the rest of us.