Thursday, February 16, 2017

Blind Bartimaeus

Mark 10:46-52

“And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.  And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.” (Mark 10:46-47)

As Jesus traveled south, at Jericho there was a blind man named Bartimaeus.  He heard the crowd traveling with Jesus and asked what was going on.  When he learned that it was Jesus, he began to cry out, asking Jesus to help him, recognizing Jesus as a descendant of David , and the Messiah. 

“And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me.

And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called.” (Mark 10:48-49a)

Like the disciples with the little children, the crowd was concerned that the blind man’s cries would interrupt and interfere with Jesus’ teaching.  They told him to be quiet, but he just yelled louder.  Jesus was not upset by the interruption.  Instead, he asked that they bring Bartimaeus to him, just as he had asked them to bring the children.  A pure democracy focuses only on what the majority wants.  those who are in the minority get ignored.  In a Republic, there is an effort to limit the majority in an effort to also meet the needs of the minority, which is why we have the electoral college and some of the constitutional protections we are guaranteed in America  It was the standard  Jesus set, Taking care of those who would otherwise have been ignored. 

The church needs to hav ehtr attitude Paul described in I Corinthians 9:20-22.  “And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.  To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” 

“And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.  And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.

And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?

The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.” (Mark 10:49a-51)

While most of the crowd wanted to hear Jesus teach, the blind man urgently needed to get the ability to see.  When we get too caught up with the wants of the majority, we don’t know what the needs of the others is.   The only way to find out is to talk to them personally, just as Jesus asked the man what he needed. 

“And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.” (Mark 10:52)

Jesus addressed the man’s needs, telling him his faith had made him whole, and he could go where he wanted to.  As soon as he received his sight, the man followed Jesus just like the others, because he could now see to follow, and now he could appreciate the things Jesus was teaching.  Until his need was met, he was forced to focus on it, and could not follow Jesus.  The greatest good was accomplished by meeting the needs of the individual.    

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