Since Jesus Passed By

Since Jesus Passed By

Like a blind man I wandered
So lost and undone
A beggar so helpless
Without God or His Son
Then my Savior in mercy
Heard and answered my cry
And oh what a diff’rence
Since Jesus passed by

Chorus
Since Jesus passed by
Since Jesus passed by
Oh what a diff’rence
Since Jesus passed by
Well I can’t explain it
And I cannot tell you why
But oh what a diff’rence
Since Jesus passed by
 
All my yesterdays are buried
In the deepest of the sea
The old load of guilt I carried
Is all gone, praise God I’m free
Looking for that bright tomorrow
Where no tears will dim the eye
Well oh what a diff’rence
Since Jesus passed by

Chorus
Since Jesus passed by
Since Jesus passed by
Oh what a diff’rence
Since Jesus passed by
Well I can’t explain it
And I cannot tell you why
But oh what a diff’rence
Since Jesus passed by

This week’s song, like many other great hymns of faith, is based upon a certain passage of Scripture. The passage in John 9:1-7 reads as follows:

“Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”  Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.  I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”  When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.”

What a great story!  Jesus took the opportunity during a moment of “questioning” from His disciples to not only answer their tough theological question, but to also demonstrate His awesome power by healing the blind man.  Could He have answered their theological question and just moved on?  Absolutely.  He is God.  He can do whatever He chooses to do.  But what He did was more than just “pass by.”  He altered the blind’s man life forever.  Jesus did something out of the ordinary (spit in the mud and put it on the blind man’s eyes), and then He asked the blind man to step out in faith and to trust Him by doing what the Lord commanded.  I don’t know about you, but there’s something in that story for me today.  In times of questioning and trying to figure it all out, I need to learn to trust in Jesus’ plans for me.  He has a plan for me that is greater than I could ever imagine.

If you are not familiar with this song, here’s a version by Ernie Haase and Signature sound:

This hymn made me wonder, were there other times in the New Testament when Jesus “passed by” or when others “passed by” Him?  If so, what happened in those circumstances?

In John Chapter 8, Jesus was having one of his many encounters with the Jews and dealing with their questions of who Jesus claimed to be.  Verse 58 and 59 read “Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”  Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.”  The Jews were angry.  They were ready to kill him.  What does Jesus do?  Jesus passes by.  They hearts were filled with anger because Jesus told them who He was – Before Abraham was, I AM.  They could not accept that He was the Christ.  They rejected the Son of God, and Jesus passes by.
In Mark 15, Jesus faces Pilate, is mocked by the soldiers and is placed on the cross.  He has suffered great pain although He was completely innocent and sinless.  He is numbered with the transgressors.  And verse 29-30 read, “And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself, and come down from the cross!”  What is the reaction of these “passers by?”  Rejection.  Mocking.  Blaspheming.
Finally, in Mark 2, Jesus meets Levi, son of Alpheus.  Verse 14 says “As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him.”  Jesus passes by and offers to the invitation to this tax collector, and what is his response?  Anger? No.  Rejection?  No.  Blasphemy?  No.  Jesus passes by and Levi’s life is changed forever.  He receives the invitation, and obeys Jesus command.  No hesitation.  Oh, what a difference since Jesus passed by!!!

So what is your response to Jesus passing by today?  Is it anger because He has not done exactly what you wanted Him to do?  He hasn’t answered your prayer in the way you wanted Him to.  Is your reaction indifference, rejection or even worse blasphemy?

Or is your response today the blind man’s response or Levi’s response – to obey Him, follow Him and let Him heal you as He sees fit?  In His way. In His timing. For His purposes.

There’s an old chorus that I want to close with today.  It reiterates this truth of seeking the Lord as He passes by, and I pray that others see the difference in your life since Jesus has passed by:
Reach out and touch the Lord as He passes by.
You will find He’s not too busy, to hear your hearts cry.
He is passing by this moment, your need He’ll supply.
Reach out and touch the Lord as He goes by.

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