Grow Through The Gospels - Mark 10

Pastor Ed Young - Lead Pastor of Fellowship Church
Ed Young

July 8, 2024

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Grow Through The Gospels - Mark 10

Read: Mark 10

Mark 10:46-47, 51-52 “Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ …’What do you want me to do for you?’ Jesus asked him. The blind man said, ‘Rabbi, I want to see.’‘Go,’ said Jesus, ‘your faith has healed you.’ Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.”

Think

During Passover, Jesus traveled through Jericho, attracting a crowd of pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem. The city buzzed excitedly, and people crowded the streets, eager to glimpse Jesus. Imagine the scene: the roads lined with curious faces, murmurs of anticipation filling the air, children perched on their parents' shoulders. Among the crowd was Zacchaeus, who famously climbed a tree just to see Jesus. Not far from Jericho was Bethany, where Jesus had recently performed the unimaginable miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead. News of this miracle had spread like wildfire, heightening the excitement and anticipation.

In this bustling, emotionally-charged scene, we meet Bartimaeus, a blind beggar sitting by the roadside. Picture him there, cloaked in darkness, desperately listening for the sound of approaching footsteps. He had strategically positioned himself where the crowds were thickest, hoping for a few coins. Blindness in those times was not just a physical ailment but a social curse, and people believed it to be a punishment from God. Imagine Bartimaeus's loneliness – his sense of being an outcast, his life reduced to begging. Yet, in his despair, he had heard of Jesus and believed that he was the Messiah. When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus was passing by, his heart must have pounded with hope and desperation. He cried out with all his might, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" His plea was a cry for both physical healing and an acknowledgment of Jesus as the Savior.

The crowd, however, tried to silence Bartimaeus, viewing him as a nuisance. Picture the scornful looks, the harsh whispers telling him to be quiet. But Bartimaeus shouted even louder, driven by an unyielding faith and desperation. His voice, filled with raw emotion and unwavering belief, cut through the noise. Jesus, moved by compassion, stopped and called for Bartimaeus to be brought to him. Suddenly, the crowd's attitude shifted. The same people who had scorned him now encouraged him, perhaps out of curiosity or a newfound respect. Bartimaeus, throwing aside his only possession, his cloak, leaped up and stumbled towards the sound of Jesus's voice.

When he reached Jesus, the moment was charged with emotion. Jesus, with tender compassion, asked, "What do you want me to do for you?" Bartimaeus, his voice trembling with hope, replied, "Rabboni, I want to regain my sight." Jesus touched his eyes and, with a gentle word, restored his sight. Bartimaeus’s faith had made him well, and as his eyes opened to the light for the first time in who knows how long, he immediately began to follow Jesus, tears of gratitude streaming down his face.

This encounter is more than a tale of physical healing; it’s a story of profound spiritual transformation and unshakable faith. Bartimaeus's belief in Jesus as the Messiah led to his salvation, changing his life forever. His immediate response was to follow Jesus, glorifying God with every step. This public miracle, witnessed by many, affirmed Jesus's power to heal as well as his authority to save. Imagine the ripple of awe and praise that spread through the crowd, a wave of emotion that contributed to the growing momentum as Jesus entered Jerusalem.

In Bartimaeus's story, we see Jesus's boundless compassion and the transformative power of faith, reminding us that no one is beyond the reach of his mercy and love. We find Bartimaeus in Luke 18:43 following Jesus – a changed man. Can you grasp the picture here, a man who can’t go anywhere, who’s stuck as a beggar because he can’t see, who is hopeless unless Christ comes to him? Is this not the picture of every sinner: hopeless, sitting by the road with the hopes that the Healer and Savior might come by? Jesus went to the bottom of Israel, to the lowlands of Jericho to claim a tax collector and a blind beggar and turned them into worshippers.

Apply

Bartimaeus did not let the crowd silence him. Do not let doubts, fears, or the opinions of others hinder your faith. How can you stand up for Jesus today in your workplace, in your home, in your gym, in the store? Maybe you can simply tell someone about your life change or invite them to church with you.

Pray

Jesus, thank you for your unfailing compassion and mercy. Just as you heard Bartimaeus's cry for help, I know you hear mine. Open my heart to hear your call and give me the courage to respond immediately. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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