Summary: Choosing to make our deepest heart's desires known to the Lord and following him without hesitation.
I would like you to open your bibles with me to the 10th chapter of Mark as we look at a fascinating story in which I discovered something that just seemed to jump out at me and I want to share it with you.
Mark 10:46-52 46 Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" 48 Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" 49 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, "Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you." 50 And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus. 51 So Jesus answered and said to him, "What do you want Me to do for you?" The blind man said to Him, "Rabboni, that I may receive my sight." 52 Then Jesus said to him, "Go your way; your faith has made you well." And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.
Perhaps an old familiar story to us, the story of a blind man named Bartimaeus. An outcast of society having to rely on the goodness of those who saw and heard him begging on the streets, perhaps giving him some money or perhaps some table scraps for a meal. A man that does not appear to have any help but is trying to live his life, such as it is, on his own with his disability.
I found it interesting to note that many scholars today look at this particular story as an ending point of the previous sections in Mark that oddly enough also begins with the story of a blind man in chapter 8 and verse 22. And it is from this section of stories that many see parallels into the spiritual blindness that seemed to affect Christ’s disciples in how they were unable to grasp the concepts and ideas that Jesus was trying to teach them.
Evidently though Bartimaeus knew who Jesus was and he seemed to know that if he could get his attention then Jesus could perhaps help him overcome his disabilities. Bartimaeus knew that if there was any hope for him to be healed it had to lie in the hands of this healer, which he evidently had heard of before. And we see in verse 47 how Bartimaeus pleads with Jesus to have mercy on him. Despite enormous obstacles Bartimaeus jumps up and rushes to Jesus side. He makes sure that nothing will stop him from being in the presence of his Lord. He has nothing really to base his haste on other than perhaps what he has overheard while sitting on the streets begging. The stories of the miracles that Bartimaeus catches bits and pieces of as people rush about on their way after witnessing one of Jesus miracles. But the one thing that this particular crowd doesn’t realize is that Bartimaeus has an appointment today, an appointment with a king, an appointment with a healer, an appointment with his Savior.
Now we can see from this text today and the reaction of the crowd that there are always the doubters, the scoffers, those meaning well but trying their best to keep the noise level down. Trying not to let the enthusiasm get out of control. Not wanting to upset the master as he walks down the street. Not wanting to distract him for fear he may miss some opportunity to happen upon some unfortunate soul that is in need of healing. However, not realizing that the whole time that opportunity was sitting amongst them at their feet. The very object of Jesus attention and affection for this moment in time was the very one that they were telling to be quiet and not disturb the master.
In verse 50 we see that once Bartimaeus gets the call to come to Jesus side, nothing is going to stop him; not his disability, not the crowd telling him to be quiet and stop making such a ruckus, not the cloak or coat that he wears as he sits by the side of the road in the dirt begging for a living. You have to wonder when you read the text why it makes mention of the fact that he through off his cloak. Perhaps in that quick instant when he realizes that Jesus has heard his call and is calling to him to be brought close that it is now time to throw off the past hindrances, the reminders of a life that is soon to pass away, because he has a divine appointment and he must not be late and he must be prepared for what is about to happen to him.