Wednesday, April 01, 2009


Mark 10:46-52
Bartimaeus had apparently heard many stories about Jesus. He lived in Jericho which was a major crossroads for caravans and pilgrims. As a blind beggar he worked the gates of the city where he would be sure to encounter the largest number of people possible. Over the last few years, as the pilgrims and travelers passed Bartimaeus and gave him some money, some of them must have told him stories of the young rabbi in the north who was healing people of all kinds of diseases and disabilities, including blindness. Galilee was too far for Bartimaeus to go but he probably harbored all kinds of hope that one day Jesus himself might pass by his gate.

Day after day Bartimaeus sat and begged money. Day after day he thought about Jesus, the healing rabbi. Day after day he considered the possibility that Jesus might be the Promised One, the Son of David. Day after day he determined that if Jesus ever passed through Jericho he would do whatever it took to meet him. Then the day came. As the Passover pilgrims moved through Jerusalem word spread that Jesus was among them. When they came near he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Louder and louder he shouted. The people around tried to hush him but Bartimaeus wouldn’t be hushed.

If only people today had the same sense of desperation! We seem so casual about spiritual things. We think about them intellectually, in a kind of detached way. We want to make a well-considered decision. Why? Our condition is critical! No, it’s terminal! Mortal! We should be crying out with all our energy for Jesus to have mercy on us instead of trying to decide which recovery program we should attend or which special interest group we should join.

Jesus heard the cries of Bartimaeus and called for him to come to him. When he asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” Bartimaeus did not hesitate. “Rabbi, I want to see!” He knew what he needed and he asked Jesus for it. Do we know what we need? Do our preachers make it clear that we need life? Do we understand that we are dead in trespasses and sins and unless we receive life from Jesus we will be lost for eternity? What do we ask for? Help? Insight? Strength to improve ourselves? Shouldn’t we be crying out to Jesus for life?

And here is true discipleship. Jesus said, “Go, your faith has healed you,” and Bartimaeus could see. What did Bartimaeus do? Did he say, “Thank you so much, Jesus! I appreciate what you have done for me. Have a blessed Passover!” The text says, “he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.” He followed Jesus! He became a follower of Jesus! With his newly received sight he followed the Son of David to Jerusalem and observed the events we recall during Holy Week. He became a disciple, a follower of Jesus.


At 9:46 PM, Blogger Anne of The House said...

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At 9:50 PM, Blogger Anne of The House said...

"Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God"
Matthew 5:8

At 10:35 PM, Blogger Shiloh Guy said...

Well said, Anne! Thanks!


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