Summary: On the way to Jerusalem where the cross awaited Him, Jesus met blind Bartimaeus who cried out for mercy and healing. In response, Bartimaeus found healing as well as forgiveness of his sins. Hear Pastor Sligh preach the first in a 4-part Easter series.
A Blind Man Meets the Healer
Easter Series: On the Way to the Cross, #1
March 11, 2018
NOTE: A PowerPoint presentation is available for this sermon by request at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a shorter adaptation of a sermon from an Easter series by Brian Bill found on SermonCentral.com.
TEXT: Please turn in your Bibles to Luke 18:35-43
Illus. A blind man walks into a store with his seeing eye dog. All of a sudden, he picks up the leash and begins swinging the dog over his head. The proprietor runs up to the man and asks, “Sir, STOP! What are you doing?!!” The blind man replies, “Just looking around.”
This morning I want to talk about another blind man. He was not able to see, and it wasn’t a joke! He spent his days sitting by the places people would pass by, just waiting for someone to give him a shekel or a piece of bread.
Before we meet this blind man, I want to first give you some background to our story. In Luke 18, Jesus is walking to the cross to accomplish what He came to do.
Let’s read verses 31-34 – “Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, ‘Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. 32 For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: 33 And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.” 34 And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.”
This is the third time in the Gospel of Luke that Jesus predicted His impending death, and each time He told them about what was to come, He got more explicit.
If you were to read through the Gospel of Luke, you would notice that beginning in chapter 9, there is a major shift in Jesus’ orientation. We’re introduced to what commentators refer to as a “travel motif” that permeates the remainder of the book. [VERSES BELOW ARE FROM THE ESV]
9:51: “When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.” – And so Jesus begins His walk to the cross of Calvary.
10:38: “Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village.…”
13:22: “Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as He made His way to Jerusalem.”
13:33: “Nevertheless, I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following,…”
17:11: “On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee.”
Which brings us to verse 31 of our text where Jesus reminded his disciples that they were going to Jerusalem, and what was to come when they got to Jerusalem.
Today’s sermon is the first of a short series leading up to Easter where we will examine three incidences of Jesus “On the Way to the Cross,” the title of my series.
Without a doubt, Jesus is on a mission: He’s headed to Jerusalem. And the caravan of people who are following Him is growing at each rest stop. We see in Luke 18:35 that Jesus is now approaching the town of Jericho, which is about 15 miles from Jerusalem, and was a popular resting place because it was an oasis. It was here that the pilgrims gathered to make the final leg of the journey to Jerusalem to celebrate the annual Passover feast.
As Jesus heads into Jericho, He meets a blind man named Bartimaeus. We know that is his name from Mark’s account of the story. Bartimaeus is a difficult name to say over and over through the whole message, so I hope you don’t mind if I give him the nickname of Bart.
In this incredible encounter between Bart and Jesus, notice four things with me:
I. FIRST, WE NOTE HIS BLINDNESS.
We see this in verse 35: “And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging.” My commentaries say that blindness was a very common problem in that day. And a healing from the condition was exceedingly rare.
While the Old Testament Law stipulated that God’s people were to care for those who are blind, there was, unfortunately, a cultural and religious stigma against blindness. We see this in the account of another blind man Jesus healed in John 9. There, the disciples asked Jesus in John 9:2: “Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?”
There was this mistaken assumption that if you were blind, it was your or your parents’ fault, so you probably deserved it! Because of this error, blind people were often ignored or even castigated.