Justin Taylor

Just a decade ago, our ways of staying in touch were so different. Remember the excitement around the introduction of the iPhone and smartphones? They completely changed the game, making the world smaller and more accessible. Now, it's nothing to send a video or a message halfway across the globe and have it delivered in seconds. Crazy, right?
But here's the twist: loneliness is creeping up on us despite being more connected than ever. We're glued to our screens, chatting and scrolling, that we're missing out on real, human connections. Have you ever caught yourself surrounded by people yet feeling utterly alone? It's a feeling many of us can relate to, and it's something that's becoming increasingly common.

This paradox got me thinking about the story of Jesus and his journey, which still holds powerful lessons for us today. Jesus, despite being surrounded by followers, often walked alone. He carried a vision of a world filled with love, acceptance, and the breaking down social barriers—a vision that he knew would cost him his life. And yet, he pressed on, committed to his path of non-violence and transformation.

The story of James and John, two of Jesus' disciples, is particularly telling. They wanted the glory without understanding the sacrifice. They dreamed of sitting by Jesus' side in power, yet they were clueless about the true cost of following him. Jesus' response to them is a reality check: greatness in his kingdom means serving others, putting your needs aside, and embracing a life of humility and sacrifice.

And then there's Bartimaeus, the blind man whose faith and persistence in calling out to Jesus teach us about true vision and recognition. While physically blind, Bartimaeus saw Jesus for who he truly was, unlike the disciples, who, despite their physical sight, were blind to the essence of Jesus' mission. This story challenges us to examine our own blindness—what are we failing to see in our lives and in the lives of those around us?

So, what's the takeaway from all this? First, sometimes, following a path of genuine connection and understanding might mean walking alone. It requires courage to stand by your convictions and to see the world not as it is but as it could be. Second, we all need a bit of healing to see truly. Just like Bartimaeus, we need to ask ourselves what we're blind to and seek to see the world through a lens of compassion, empathy, and love.

In a world where we're bombarded with messages and images, let's not forget the importance of real, meaningful connections. It's about seeing beyond our screens and looking into the hearts of those around us. Let's not be so connected that we end up disconnected. Let's be brave enough to walk the path of understanding, even if it means walking alone, and let's open our eyes to the beauty and humanity that surrounds us.