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050-00743 Hearing Jesus 2, Blind Bartimaeus, Mark 10 46-52

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Blind Bartimaeus

Hearing Jesus # 2

050-00743                                                                              Mark 10:46-52

I.  The story of Jesus healing Blind Bartimaeus is the climactic event in a long series of lessons taught to the disciples prior to the glorious entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.

A. Without going too far backwards it started like this:

1. All sorts of parents were bringing their children to be blessed by Jesus when the disciples tried to stop them because it was inappropriate. But Jesus corrected his disciples saying that the kingdom belonged to children such as these. If you do not become a little child you cannot enter the Kingdom of God.

2. Then a Rich Young Ruler comes to Jesus and claims to have obeyed the moral law of God all of his life. What then, must he do to inherit eternal life? Jesus tells him he must sell everything he has and give it to the poor, then he can enter the kingdom. The young ruler walks away dejected.

3. The disciples begin to seriously wonder what is going on here: how can a man be saved? Jesus says that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. Basically now the question comes from the disciples, “Who can be saved?” Jesus reveals that with man it is impossible but that God makes all things possible.

B. Now it is at this point in the story that Jesus reveals the plan that lies ahead. Jesus says that they are going to Jerusalem. The Passover is near so they would travel with singleness of mind to Jerusalem where he tells his disciples, Mark 10:33-34 “…the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”

1. We are given a small clue as to what the disciples heard in Jesus’ words for James and John came to Jesus asking of one could sit on his right and the onther on his left hand.

2. The other ten become a bit irrate that these two would try to manipulate them out of the running for such a glory demonstrating the none of them really understood the nature of what Jesus had said.

3. Jeus answers their question with a question: Can you drink the cup I will drink and be baptized with my baptism? And these two foolish disciples said yes! Certainly all the others would have said yes at this point as well.

4. Once more the patience of Jesus bore the foolishness of his disciples. He tells them all that they will share in his suffering and death. And once again he opened their eyes to the reigning spiritual principle: The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve. His true disciples will do the same.

C. All of this is significant teaching by Jesus.

1. Jesus was a master teacher, a Rabboni because he took advantage of every opportunity to teach his disciples truth and to equip them with the right way of seeing and thinking about things.

2. Jesus used the opportunities of others to teach and he used the answers and inquiry of the discipes to continue to teach.

3. So far, the disciples have demonstrated significant spiritual blindness. Jesus has been trying to open the hearts and minds of his disciples to prepare them for that which was to come.

II. Now what a coincidence! On their journey to Jerusalem, a journey the disciple still had not comprehended, they pass through Jericho traveling up to the Holy City. Actually they were moving south east but Jerusalem is “up” no matter where you are coming from.

A. And as they pass through Jericho, the crowds once again gather around Jesus to hear what he had to say and to see more miracles of healing.

1. And on the way out of the city. There was a poor beggar who was blind. Mark tells us his name was Bartimaeus which meant Son of Timaeus.

2. Sitting on the side of the road, his normal spot from which he begged for support he heard the crowd coming and he must have certainly heard the people around telling each other who this man was: He was Jesus of Nazareth.

B. Had Bartimaeus heard about this Jesus before? With the publicity and word of mouth traveling about the region for the past three years her must have.

1. Had Bartimaeus heard about the miraculous healings Jesus had done for others? We cannot deny that such stories had been told around him, if not to him.

2. If these suppositions are not true, there would have been no reason for Bartimaeus to call out for Jesus in particular. Rather he would have been trying to take advantage of the crowds which has gathered and begged all the more.

3. But of course, this is exactly what did NOT happen.

4. Bartimaeus knows what he has heard and determined in his misery to take hold of his once in a lifetime opportunity, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

a) Jesus, Son of David. Who would dare call Jesus the Son of David?

b) Only one who truly believed that Jesus was the Messiah, the man appointed by God to reign over the world forever and ever.

c) Son of David was clearly a Messianic claim and significantly it was one of the claims of Jesus that made the Jewish leaders of the day angry.

(1) In the next scene in Mark Jesus comes triumphantly riding in to Jerusalem with crowds gathered round praising him and quoting Psalms, even singing them.

(2) The people were celebrating Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews (INRI - Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum {latin}) but the Jewish purists could not let such claims go unchallenged.

(3) Mark 11:27-33 They arrived again in Jerusalem, and while Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders came to him. “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you authority to do this?” Jesus replied, “I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or from men? Tell me!” They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From men’….” (They feared the people, for everyone held that John really was a prophet.) So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.” Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”

(4) If they could not understand the fundamentals, how could they ever grasp the coming realities?

5. Thos who know the truth may embarrass the proprieties of those who do not know because they are so persistent. Bartimaeus took no heed to those who tried to silence him and called out again and louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

C. And Jesus stopped. And Jesus said, “Call him.”

1. When is it that Jesus does not stop and call to the one who calls on him with a sincere heart?

2. The crowd shows some amazement at this turn of events. Surely Jesus was too busy teaching the important people, after all this was the holy journey to Jerusalem.

3. Why would Jesus stop to take the time to speak with a poor, beggarly blind man who most of them had considered a nuisance

4. But Jesus’ instructions also makes them curious, So with excitement, ‘they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.”’

a) Just a side note on what the people said. For the first words to the man were “Cheer up!”

b) This phrase and those similar to it appear in the gospels a number of times. It comes in different forms such as “Be of good courage; Fear not; and in every case (including those in Acts, it is the Lord speaking to people living in darkness who are about to see the light. The phrase always follows up, “for I am with you.”

c) This passage is the only exception for it is the people who say “Cheer up.” The disciples of Christ are beginning to demonstrate a transformation which was always intended to come.

d) But the reason for the encouragement has not changed: “He is calling to you.”

(1) Now at this point all would be for naught had not Bartimaeus answered the call of Jesus.

(2) And it is not everyone who is ready or able to answer the call of God through Christ.

e) Nevertheless Bartimaeus springs to his feet and comes to Jesus. He was ready. His hope was placed in the right man. He instinctively know at this moment that he was going to get what he most wanted.

5. It is interesting to me that Jesus asks Bartimaeus the same question he had asked Andrew and John last week; “What do you want me to do for you?”

6. Bartimaeus’ reply is simple: “Rabboni, that I may recover my sight.”

D. Jesus’ reply is deeper that the question but just as simple. “Go, your faith has healed you.”

1. Immediately Mark says the man received his sight,

a) But what kind of sight did Bartimaeus receive?

b) Clearly the story suggests physical sight.

c) But doe it not also imply spiritual sight?

(1) Return to the context – Jesus has been dealing with the blindness of his disciples.

(2) An object lesson was to be learned, the lesson of Jesus giving sight to the blind.

(3) Isaiah 35:5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.

(4) Such was the prophetic work of the Messiah, the Son of David.

(5) Bartimaeus’ significance was that a blind beggar, an outcast of society demonstrated for all the disciples of Christ from then until now and into the future that a blind man could see more clearly than sighted men.

(6) And when he was given full sight, the gospels make sure to not let us think that he went happily on his way.

2. Mark says that Bartimaeus immediately received his sight and not used his new eyes to follow Jesus along the road.

3. Luke, retelling the whole story adds one little detail at this point. Bartimaeus followed Jesus Praising God.

III. So let me know tie together all we have seen.

A. Jesus has determined to go to Jerusalem. He knows the season and he knows it is time to suffer and die.

1. What Jesus knows, even though he has clearly communicated to his disciples in the past has not sunk in and their misunderstanding is blindness.

2. Human blindness cannot be cured using human methods for it is a blindness of the heart and mind more that of the eye.

3. The ultimate problem is that humans cannot enter the kingdom of God – it is impossible.

4. But where it is impossible for us to enter is when God himself prepares us giving sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf.

5. And behold, we like Bartimaeus hear the call of the One who says, be of good courage. I am with you.

B. Lent is a season gifted by God when we can take the time to reflect upon our blind eyes and our deaf ears.

1. For surely we are still blind and deaf to the workings of God around us.

2. And Lent is a season gifted to us to try and find our own way in the dark until we return to that painful place where we have to cry out “O Son of David, have mercy on me.”

3. Maybe more importantly, Lent is the season given to us when God wants us to quiet ourselves enough to hear again the message of the Lord Psalm 81:10 I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.
Blind Bartimeus - Longfellow

Blind Bartimeus at the gates

Of Jericho in darkness waits;

He hears the crowd;--he hears a breath

Say, "It is Christ of Nazareth!"

And calls, in tones of agony,

'Ιησουξλξησδν με!                        Ἰησοῦ ἐλέησόν με

                                                                Jesus show mercy on me

The thronging multitudes increase;

Blind Bartimeus, hold thy peace!

But still, above the noisy crowd,

The beggar's cry is shrill and loud;

Until they say, "He calleth thee!"

Θαρσει ζγειραι , φωνει σε!         Θάρσει ἔγειρε φωνεῖ σε

                                                                Take courage, rise, he calls you

Then saith the Christ, as silent stands

The crowd, "What wilt thou at my hands?"

And he replies, "Oh, give me light!

Rabbi, restore the blind man's sight."

And Jesus answers, "Υπαγε'        ὕπαγε   Go

'Η πιστις σου σεσωκε σε!              πίστις σου σέσωκέν σε

                                                                Your faith has delivered you

Ye that have eyes, yet cannot see,

In darkness and in misery,

Recall those mighty Voices Three,

'Ιησουξλξησδν με!

Θαρσει ξγειραιυπαγε!

'Η πιστις σου σεσωκε σε!

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