Eliezer, a respected and trusted servant of Abraham, was on an important mission for his master. He had been sent to find a wife for Abraham’s son Isaac. Eliezer prayed for God’s help to accomplish this task, and God answered Eliezer’s prayer even before he had finished praying. What was Eliezer’s reaction? He fell on his knees in worship and thanks for God’s answer to his prayer. But he didn’t stop there. He immediately told others what God had done for him (Gen. 24:12-48).
Eliezer’s story reflects two key building blocks of our Christian life: prayer and telling others what God has done for us. Both of these acts seemed to bring Eliezer joy, and they also seemed to be completely natural for him.
This seemed so simple for Eliezer, but even something simple, something that can give us joy, can be difficult the first time we do it. We do not know if Eliezer was uneasy before he spoke to others about God for the first time, but this is often the case for Christians who want to share their faith but who fear not having the right words or looking foolish.
But there is no doubt that if we are willing to confront any fear we have about sharing with others our personal experience with Jesus, God will help us as we take our first, halting, scary steps in that direction. Matthew 9:10 tells us that this is exactly what Matthew did when Jesus called him from his life of sin. He was called in the daytime and by that evening had gathered his friends to hear about Jesus, and he never turned back from telling what Jesus had done for him. Telling others about his relationship with Jesus was not an unpleasant task for Matthew, but a joyous one.
In Matthew 9:27-31, we are told another story about Jesus healing two blind men. What did they do after being healed and being told by Jesus not to tell anyone? They immediately told everyone what Jesus had done for them. They couldn’t help themselves. They had been given something too valuable to keep quiet about it.
Eliezer, Matthew, and the two blind men did not have deep discussions of great theological truths with others. They simply told what Jesus had done for them to those who were willing to hear. For those whose hearts were not yet open to hear, the lives of these witnesses had to model the story until it was time to tell it in words.
Eliezer started with prayer, and Matthew 9 comes back full circle to that important practice. The end of the chapter tells of Jesus urging His disciples to pray that God would send people to tell others about Him. That counsel, spoken thousands of years ago, is for us today, as it has been for those before us and will be for those who come after us. We have a job to do. The world is in chaos, and fears abound. We who believe have the answer to this turmoil. We have something of great value in our relationship with Jesus Christ.
Has it changed our lives? If so, like Eliezer, we can pray for help to do the job we have been given—telling others about Jesus. That is a prayer totally in God’s will, and we can be assured that He will answer it swiftly as He did Eliezer’s prayer.
© 2010 Arlina Yates