Thursday 03 March 2011

Bible Book:

"When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, 'Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!' Many sternly ordered him to be quiet but he cried out even more loudly, 'Son of David, have mercy on me!'" (vv. 47-48)

Mark 10:46-52 Thursday 3 March 2011


This is much more than a healing miracle. It reveals a sharpcontrast between blind Bartimaeus and the disciples of Jesus, andit is Bartimaeus who is held up as the model for discipleship - themodel to imitate. Why is this case?

Bartimaeus recognises Jesus for who he is: "Son of David".Bartimaeus believes that Jesus can heal him, and rises to thechallenge of giving up begging and leading a new life to followJesus.

Sight in this story is a metaphor for faith and understanding. Thedisciples have not really seen or understood who Jesus is or whathe is about but Bartimaeus, the man who was blind, has seen in amore profound sense than purely physical healing. There is aninteresting parallel. When James and John came with their requestto Jesus (Mark 10:35-45), he asked them, "What is it youwant me to do for you?" (verse 36). They wanted power and position.When Bartimaeus came up to Jesus, Jesus asked him the samequestion, "What do you want me to do for you?" (verse 51). Thereply came like a shot, "My teacher, let me see again". And Jesusdoes allow him to see again, in the same way as he tries to openthe eyes of all who would be his disciples.

This story also shows Jesus' openness to all. Just as he did notsee shouting, playing children as a nuisance (Mark10:13-14) nor does he feel the shouting of this blind man as anuisance. Just as Jesus was open to tax collectors and otheroutcasts (Mark 2:15-17) so was he open to this man whohad spent his life begging, marginalised for polite society.

Bartimaeus shows that key to being a disciple is not status,education nor respectability but faith, a faith which responds whenJesus calls and does not turn back.

To Ponder

Bartimaeus wanted a new life; he wanted to seeand follow Jesus. What is there in your life which makes you lessthan eager to follow Jesus or gets in the way of being the personGod wants you to be?

Imagine that you are James or John watching thisencounter between Jesus and the blind man. What is your reaction towhat you see?

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