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Climbing Out of A Rut

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Mark 10:46–52 ESV
46 And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” 50 And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.
We have all experienced a period of time when we felt we were in a rut.
Websters defines a rut as a usual fixed practice/a monotonous routine
For us as believers a rut is an activity or pattern that keeps us from becoming what God wants us to be.
A rut may not necessarily be caused by a sin, but many times we find ourselves plagued by a habitual sin without the will, desire, or ability to get out of it.
We get stuck in patterns in our life that are not healthy and we fool ourselves into accepting them as just part of life.
For many people they do not want to get out of the rut they are in. They are content to be where they are. But for many they do not know how to get out of the spiritual rut that is holding them captive.
When we are stuck in a rut, it weighs heavy on us. And when that rut is a sin that we hide from others the weight can become unbearable.
Hebrews 12:1 ESV
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
When we are stuck in a rut, it weighs heavy on us. And when that rut is a sin that we hide from others the weight can become unbearable.
How do we lay aside the weight of the rut we are in? We are going to look at the story of a blind man who will show us the way.
Mark 10:46 ESV
46 And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside.
We are approaching the final week of Jesus’s life. Jesus is beginning the upward 15-16 mile (6-hour)journey to Jerusalem.
);46
It should be no surprise that Jesus encounters a crowd as he heads towards Jerusalem.
According to the Old Testament, Jewish men must travel to Jerusalem 3 times a year to present themselves at the temple. The Passover is coming and Jesus is going to Jerusalem where the city will bustle with 80 - 100 thousand people. So it is no wonder Jesus encounters a crowd on the main road from Jericho up to Jerusalem.
According to the Old Testament, Jewish men must travel to Jerusalem 3 times a year to present themselves at the temple. The Passover is coming and Jesus is going to Jerusalem where the city will bustle with 80 - 100 thousand people.
Among the crowd, sitting on the side of the road, which I am sure was something he did on a daily basis, was a blind man named Bartimaeus.
In the account in Matthew we find that there were two blind men, but Mark only focuses on the one man and give us his name. Bartimaeus had been blind since birth. Imagine a life lived in the dark and surviving on the charity of others for your whole life. Stuck in a rut? You better believe it.
I think Bartimaeus’ story lays down for us an effective pattern for getting out of any rut that we may find ourselves.

We must first assume responsibility for our situation.

You cannot wait for someone else to get you out of a rut. Many times when we are stuck, we wish someone would come along and just pull us out.
Imagine that you have driven your car off the side of the road and you are stuck in the mud. You can sit and hope that someone comes along and will pull you out, but you’ve got to do something yourself…you have to call a tow truck. The chance of one just coming by is very low.
You can’t blame your circumstances on those around you. Playing the blame game will not get you out of the rut you are in. In fact when we blame others for our circumstances it just prolongs our time in the rut.
People who blame others for their rut can’t see how their blaming is keeping them right where they are, stuck. Even if others have played a part in getting you stuck in a rut, it is up to you to get yourself out of a rut.
Bartimaeus took action.
Mark 10:47 ESV
47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Mark 10:
He heard who was walking past him and cried out to Jesus to have mercy on him. Nobody saw him on the roadside and thought “Hey maybe Jesus can do something for this man.” He had to do it himself. It was up to him to get out of the rut he was in.
When you are in a rut you must decide to take action and turn to God for the solution. God is like the tow truck you call to help get you out.

You can’t wait for the ideal situation

Bartimaeus’ timing was not exactly ideal, but he realized that His greatest opportunity had come. He had been sitting by this roadside for years begging. He was in a helpless and hopeless situation. If Jesus was who He claimed to be, then this was the day of his greatest opportunity. Not ideal, but the greatest.
Jesus was leaving Jericho and there was a large crowd with him on the road. How would Jesus hear Bartimaeus over the crowd? Would Jesus even stop? Jesus was not going to be coming by this way again. It was either now or never.
We cannot wait for the ideal time or wait for others to take the initiative. We must act when we have the opportunity or we may never get out of the rut. Many times we hope that our situation will resolve itself on its own or that someone will come along and rescue us without us having to make any effort.
But there will not be a perfect time. Now is the perfect time.
There are some her today who need to see today as the greatest opportunity to come to Jesus and ask him to have mercy on you and help you to overcome the rut you are in, whether it is a habitual sin or an attitude that is keeping you weighed down.
2 Corinthians 6:2 ESV
2 For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
Now is the perfect time. Time is short. We do not know how much time we have left or when we will have another chance.
Don’t wait for the perfect time, it may never come.
Ecclesiastes 11:4 ESV
4 He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.
There are no guarantees in life, except that we are born and we die. If we wait for the weather to be perfect, which we have no control over, we will never do what is needed.

We can’t let what people are going to say to keep us in a rut

Mark 10:48 ESV
48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
When Bartimaeus realized it was Jesus he cries out for mercy. The people, in fact it says many people, rebuked him. “Jesus has important business in Jerusalem. He doesn’t have time for you.” But their words do not stop him. He cries even louder.
Mark 10:47–48 ESV
47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
People during this time would look at a blind person and wonder what that person’s family did, what sin they committed that would cause the blindness. Or they would wonder what the person themselves did to deserve such a curse. Jesus’ own disicples asked Jesus about this in .
John 9:1 ESV
1 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth.
Can you imagine the scorn and the ridicule that plagued blind people. As if the blindness was not enough, people would accuse you of sinning when you had no control over whether you could see or not.
To experience life change, to get out of the rut you are in, you have to decide that you are not going to worry about what people think, say, or believe about you.
If you need to do business with God and you come down to this altar it doesn’t matter what the rest of the congregation thinks or says. All that matters is that you are obedient to God’s call on your heart and that you take care of business.
In Bartimaeus’ case the crowd was wrong. Be careful believing what the crowd says and allowing that to keep you from being obedient.
Mark 10:
Mark 10:49 ESV
49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.”

We must step out boldly and believe God

When we are in a rut and Jesus calls us out we must be bold and believe.
2 Timothy 1:7 ESV
7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
We can have confidence because the power to overcome, to eliminate the weight of sin in our lives, does not come from us, but from our faith in Jesus Christ
Don’t get caught-up in the what-ifs.
Bartimaeus believes Jesus and he acts.
Mark 10:49–50 ESV
49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” 50 And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus.
I don’t want us to miss an important fact here. Today we can identify someone who is blind by the cane they carry or the seeing-eye dog at their side. During the time of Jesus it was the cloak that identified someone as blind. It was told people that this person was blind. The color, the style, the cloth it was made from all identified him as blind.
What does he do with his cloak? He throws it off. He discards it as if to say I will not be needing this anymore. Even before Jesus heals him, he knows that his life will be different from this point forward.
We must not doubt. Bartimaeus didn’t.
Mark 10:51 ESV
51 And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.”
Bartimaeus did not say “if you are willing.” He didn’t say, “if you can.” He boldly proclaimed “let me recover my sight” when Jesus asked him what he wanted Jesus to do.
We need to believe and not doubt. Many times we pray for something, asking God to step-in and provide relief, but we ask with no faith.
We are talking to the creator of the universe. We need to believe that anything is possible with God.
Mark 9:23 ESV
23 And Jesus said to him, “ ‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.”
Mark 9:43 ESV
43 And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire.
Jesus doesn’t take credit for Bartimaeus’ healing. Look what he credits
Jesus doesn’t take credit for Bartimaeus’ healing. Look what he credits
Mark 10:51–52 ESV
51 And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.
Mark 10:52 ESV
52 And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.
God is still the God of miracles, if we just believe.

Once we are out of the Rut, we need to stay out of the rut

Jesus tells Bartimaeus to go his way, but what does he do? He follows Jesus on the way.
How far did Bartimaeus go, all the way to Jerusalem.
Tradition holds that Bartimaeus went even further. Mark was writing to believers in Rome and it is believed that Bartimaeus was among those in Rome. This may be why Mark names Bartimaeus, while Matthew does not.
Don’t fall back into the runt that held you for so long. It won’t be easy, but again with god all things are possible. Don’t let the enemy take what has been given to you. Stand in faith.
Don’t go back, believe that what God has done and is doing in your life is real.
It takes 66 days to develop a habit. 66 days of not falling back in to habitual sin will lead to a life of freedom and blessings.
God wants to show you His power and do for you what He did for Bartimaeus. Your faith can make you well. The same Jesus who brought sight to the blind can help you out of your rut.
There is power in serving Jesus that moves us from where we are to where we should be.
What is God speaking to your heart? What does He want to do in your life? Do you believe Him in Jesus name?
Let’s pray.
Mark 10:50–52 ESV
50 And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.
-42
Mark 10:46–52 ESV
46 And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” 50 And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.
Hebrews 12:1 ESV
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
1 Corinthians 9:24 ESV
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.
Some sinful and others not sinful
Stuck in an activity or pattern in our lives
Some people don’t know how to get out of a rut.
Some people don’t want to get out of a rut
The same Jesus who brought sight to a blind man can help us out of a rut.
There is a power of serving Christ that moves us from where we are to where we should be.
He assumed responsibility for his situation
you can’t wait for somebody else to get you out
you’ve got to do something
Don’t blame your circumstances or those around you, lay the blame where it belongs, on you
It begins by deciding to go to God for the solution. v. 47
Bartimaeus’s circumstance was not perfect
We wait for the ideal time or for others to take the initiative.
But there will not be a perfect time. (Now is the perfect time)
Don’t wait
Ecceisiastes 11:4
Can’t worry about what others think or say (v.47-48)
People looked at the blind and people would wonder what the person’s family did or what the person did to deserve being blind.
People will wonder what is wrong with you.
To experience life change you have to decide if you are going to serve God or are you going to worry about what people think, say, or believe about you.
The crowd was wrong here. Be careful believing the crowd.
Don’t get caught in the what if.
Don’t get caught in the what if.
Bartimaeus believes Jesus and acts.
Bartimaeus believes Jesus and acts.
What do you believe about Jesus.
V.49-50
Bartimaeus throws off his cloak. That is important. This cloak is what identified him as blind. Today we have canes and seeing eye dogs, but at that time they used a cloak. Bartimaeus threw off the cloak before Jesus did anything at all. He is proclaiming that He knows Jesus will heal him.
Don’t have doubt. We have been too conditioned to the caveats that keep us from believing big things.
Our little faith keeps us from seeing God do big things.
Jesus tells him to go your way, your faith has healed you .
Jesus doesn’t say He is willing, He just credits Bartimaeus’s faith is what heals him.
mark 9:23
All things are possible for one who believes.
God can work a miracle in your circumstance and your situation
Once out, stay out of the rut
Bartimaeus followed Jesus all the way to Jerusalem
Bartimaeus means son of Timaeus. Mark is writing to Rome and it is believed that Bartimaeus was among those in Rome. He stayed out of the rut of blindness all the way to Rome.
Don’t fall back into the rut that held you for so long.
Don’t let the enemy take was was given to you. Stand in faith.
Don’t go back, believe that what God is doing in your life is real.
It takes 66 days to develop a habit. 66 days of a changed life. 66 days of walking in faith and staying out of a rut
God wants to show you his power and do for you what he did for bart. Your faith has made you well. What is God speaking to your heart, what does he want to do in your life. Do you believe him in Jesus name. Let’s pray.
The same Jesus who brought sight to a blind man can help us out of a rut.
There is a power of serving Christ that moves us from where we are to where we should be.
Ephesians 2:8–9 ESV
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
2 Corinthians 6:2 ESV
2 For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
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