October 26, 2003

Mark 10:46-52

[Jesus and his followers] spent some time in Jericho. As Jesus was leaving town, trailed by his disciples and a parade of people, a blind beggar by the name of Bartimaeus, son of Timaeus, was sitting alongside the road. When he heard that Jesus the Nazarene was passing by, he began to cry out, "Son of David, Jesus! Mercy, have mercy on me!" Many tried to hush him up, but he yelled all the louder, "Son of David! Mercy, have mercy on me!"

Jesus stopped in his tracks. "Call him over."

They called him. "It's your lucky day! Get up! He's calling you to come!" Throwing off his coat, he was on his feet at once and came to Jesus.

Jesus said, "What can I do for you?"

The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see."

"On your way," said Jesus. "Your faith has saved and healed you."

In that very instant he recovered his sight and followed Jesus down the road.

The Message


1. It wasn't so long ago that the disciples were complaining that someone else was healing by using Jesus' authority but wasn't a part of their particular confirmation class. Now we have folks calling out for help and the disciples, at best, were slow in hearing. Some of them may have been so focused on trying to pay attention to Jesus that there simply wasn't room for multi-tasking. Instead of being on alert to hear opportunities to heal they were too focused internally.

Finally, Jesus heard, and stopped and called out, "Bartimaeus, come on down!"

2. To switch game shows, Bartimaeus was asked what doors he saw available to him and which one he would pick. He could have named his gift any manner of ways ­ what about for a friend having an even more difficult time? For forgiveness for an action that had been eating at him? For a compassionate government?

He chose to speak for sight. Instead of phrasing it, "It would be nice to be able to see," he blurts it right out, "I ­ see!" How does this differ from the request of James and John to have Jesus play genie? (10:36)

What do you simply need to blurt out?

3. So now we have healed Bartimaeus traveling along with the disciples. Might they get back into the old argument about who is the greatest, but more subtly so Jesus won't chastise them again. Would Bartimaeus have a claim? Jesus had called him; he had followed; he had the extra special relationship with Jesus, not just of learner but that of healee. Or did the disciples close ranks so they followed Jesus most closely and Bartimaeus had to follow at a distance. What's the rest of the story in your mind and heart?