2nd June 2023
Read - Mark 10:46-52
Message Alan Burke
This insignificant, unimportant, marginalised man Bartimaeus had cried out to Jesus, even though he was told to shut up by the crowd he cried out again and again and wouldn’t let others put him off. Instead of ignoring him, Jesus called this man to himself, he doesn’t rebuke him like the crowd, again an object lesson for all around that even those who are insignificant, unimportant, the marginalised of society are not unimportant or unwanted to Jesus. The crowd had God it wrong, and even though Jesus is facing the very real shadow of the cross as he approaches Jerusalem he still had time for this man.
As soon as Bartimaeus hears the invitation of Jesus here we have him standing to his feet, throwing his cloak aside, the cloak that would have been his outer garment, spread on the ground for people to drop alms in, that he was so dependant on was simply cast off, as he responds to the call of Jesus without a second thought, we are told he jumped to his feet. And Jesus, Jesus asks him, “what do you want me to do for you?” Before we get into the answer of Bartimaeus there is again something else that sticks out, because this question has been asked by Jesus before and not very long before. Look back if you have your bibles open, and you’ll see it there in verse 36. Jesus asked James and John “what do you want me to do for you?”, it is exactly the same wording in the greek.
Before the question was asked by two men who had seen Jesus transfigured and were seeking greatness, to sit at the right and the left. The same question is asked of Bartimaeus, the answer as it comes is, “I want to see”. While James and John wanted greatness all that Bartimaeus wanted was that he would see. His request shows that he understood what the messiah the son of David was coming to do, to make all things new (Isa 65:17-25, Rom 8:18-24, Rev 21). And what makes this stick out even more is when you consider what the disciples had been playing at, seeking for greatness, with James and John looking for a place at Jesus right and left, the other ten being left raging and now we have Bartimaeus who was seeking the mercy of Jesus, he desired that his sight be restored and not greatness in the kingdom of God, just his sight. Bartimaeus cried for mercy nothing more, mercy, as someone who was undeserving of that mercy, as one who had nothing to bring, he is reliant on the mercy of the one whom he called on, he isn’t looking to be exalted, he is just asking for his sight.
The response of Jesus is extraordinary, Go, your faith has healed you, immediately the sight of Bartimaeus is restored. Notice the word go there, as in go on your way Jesus said to the man. But after receiving his sight we are told Bartimaeus followed Jesus along the road. Once he had received his sight, he followed. Bartimaeus knew and understood who Jesus was, he responded rightly to Jesus, he followed him, even before he received his sight Bartimaeus could see more clearly than the disciples, because he hadn’t been blinded by wealth, self reliance, all that this world holds dear and much that this world builds their life upon, he wasn’t looking for greatness in the kingdom like the disciples, he’s wasn’t holding on to that which is eternally worthless like the rich young ruler, yet he was someone who seen Jesus for who he really was before he received his sight.
What we need more than anything is to have spiritual sight, to see and to know Jesus for who he is, the Son of David, the long awaited Messiah the Christ who that day with the large crowds still with him traveling to Jerusalem with Jesus, Jesus who was going to the cross and went to the cross to die for the sins of many so that for all who repent and believe they will be saved.
Q62 What are the reasons annexed to the fourth commandment?
The reasons annexed to the fourth commandment are, God’ s allowing us six days of the week for our own employments, (Exod. 20:9) his challenging a special propriety in the seventh, his own example, and his blessing the sabbath-day. (Exod. 20:11)