Walking through the pages of the past, that past being as recorded by the King James version of the Bible of the life and times of Jesus whilst he was on earth (Jesus of course is still alive to this day but is not on earth), back then you would have to say there were plenty of what you might call real desperate people around and who would deny that there are a lot of desperate people around these days? Most people don’t like to admit that they sometimes find themselves feeling desperate for fear of being called a desperado. If anyone is to be absolutely honest then they would have to agree that the whole of the Internet, YouTube, Facebook and other social media platforms are all full of desperate people, or in other words, desperados as they’ve been nicknamed in this part of the world – and if people were to be really honest with themselves and with others then they would surely have to admit that they are sometimes one of them.
I personally like to think that I would be one of the first to put my hand up to this and admit that sometimes I find myself getting extremely desperate. At times we are all looking for answers to serious problems, both in our personal lives and as a result to the world at large as it impacts us on a day to day basis, so anyway, today I’m going to walk shoulder to shoulder with some of these other desperados that are recorded in the New Testament.
Desperado number 1 – Bartimaeus
Jesus was on His way out of Jericho with His disciples and a great number of people; blind bartimaeus was sat by the side of a highway begging; he heard talk telling his ears that Jesus was walking by and was somewhere in the crowd so he started to cry out, no-doubt with all of his desperado might “Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me!” The picture you get is that other people around him were telling him to be quiet and hold his peace and it wouldn’t surprise you if some of them were as good as telling him to “shut up!” He of course was just a beggar, some kind of desperado so Jesus wouldn’t have time for him, Jesus wouldn’t be that much concerned about him, after all, nobody else was! But he cried the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me. Upon hearing Bartimaeus, Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they called the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee. And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus. And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way. (Mark 10:46-52)
Desperado Number 2 – Woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her hair and her tears.
As I recall the story, a Pharisee had invited Jesus round to his house to eat with him; they were all sat down to eat when out of the blue, or better said, out of the street, a woman who had heard that Jesus was at the Pharisee’s house brought an alabaster box of ointment and came into the house and started to wash Jesus’ feet with her hair and her tears and she also was kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment. The picture you get was that the Pharisee who had invited Jesus to his house for dinner, spoke within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manor of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. Jesus no-doubt knew what this Pharisee was thinking; the Pharisee’s name was Simon. Jesus then spoke to Simon and said to him, There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou dist not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman, thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace. (Luke 7: 36-50)
After note: It doesn’t sound like the people who sat at meat with Jesus were happy with Jesus or this woman that day because as we just read, they said within themselves who is this that forgiveth sins also? So in other words, they would be thinking, not only does Jesus let this unclean desperado touch him and even kiss his feet but he also thinks he has power to forgive her sins.
Desperado Number 3 – Nicodemus
Nicodemus appears as being another desperado in his story as it was recorded here in the book of John. It makes a point of mentioning in the book of John that Nicodemus came to Jesus by night; Nicodemus was a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews. As we recall reading, most Pharisees would have been ashamed to have been associated with Jesus so you picture Nicodemus coming to Jesus undercover of the night. Nicodemus was a man who rose to the top of his tree no-doubt and yet he didn’t understand the simple basics of what it meant to be truly forgiven of your sins. The picture you get of him was that he was a man who was truly ready to receive the words of Jesus regarding true salvation so in other words, he was desperate enough for the words of Jesus, so much so, that he somewhat defied public opinion, though with perhaps a sense of shame, in that he went out like some kind of desperado undercover of the night so that no-one would find out about his desperate secret in seeking Jesus. Jesus had a spiritual conversation with Nicodemus regarding salvation and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound therof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and wither it goeth: so is everyone that is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? (John 3:3-10)
So the picture you get from reading this in the book of John was of a man who desperately climbed to the top of his tree in that he was a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews and yet he had no understanding at all of the very heart and soul of the whole matter in that he had no-doubt climbed so desperately to get to the top of his tree and yet had not found true salvation in so doing, so he desperately went to look to Jesus who simply told him that we must be born of water, or in other words, we are born into this world via our mother’s womb in that we are in a water bag in that womb and so we are first born of water into this world but this does not mean that we are born into the kingdom of God. We are only born into the kingdom of God, or in other words, born again when we come to understand what desperados we are without Jesus. In this same sense you could say that without Jesus we are like fish out of water, we so desperately need to get into that water, we are like desperados on the seashore who need to get into the water, or in other words, the kingdom of God! So when we receive Jesus into our hearts, you could say that it is then that we find ourselves as being like fish if you like, that are now born again into the water’s of life, or in other words – the Spirit! So in this self same sense, we are born again into another world where we receive Jesus into our hearts.
It is when we get out of the Spirit of God or pressed in with worrying matters and woes that we find ourselves as becoming desperate and as desperados that desperately need to get back into that water. The waves of the sea bash us and crash us about and sometimes we find ourselves thrown onto the seashores or onto the rocks and we so desperately need to get back into that water and into the waters of life or we will die for lack of the spiritual air that we can only find in those waters. So Thank You Jesus that we get that desperate all too often. It is when we get that desperate that we cry out to Jesus with all of our hearts, all of our souls, all of our might, and all of our minds. We throw ourselves completely over to Jesus as desperados and so we find or we’ve found true salvation through Jesus. Having found our salvation, we can’t lose it but we still so desperately need to stay in the waters (in the Spirit) and not to be cast onto the seashores or onto the rocks or onto the cares of this life!