Summary: Blind Bartimaeus
Try to visualize that surging mass of people. Who, because of their long journey, were all hot and sweaty. The dust clung to them. They were weary, but Jesus was at the height of His popularity and the great crowd of people pressed close to Him. They were jabbering endlessly. Asking questions. Seeking favors. They could be heard a mile away. And Bartimaeus, who was sitting on the side of the road, in a ditch hears the noise of this passing crowd and raises the question, “What’s this noise all about?” And someone informs him that it is Jesus passing by. "You mean Jesus of Nazareth, the man they claim can heal the sick and the blind?" "That’s the One." And as the crowd came closer and closer, excitement filled the air. The noise became intense. Dignity was dismissed. "This is it," said Bartimaeus. "I may never see Jesus again. I want to be healed." So, seeking to drown out the noise of the crowd. Bartimaeus yelled at the top of his voice, "Jesus, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me!"
And the crowd said, “Brother, calm down. You’re making too much noise. There are so many others here you don’t stand a chance of getting to Jesus, so just relax and keep quiet!" Now I been to some churches that have their own self-appointed “keep ‘em quiet” committee. Folk who never say, “Amen.” Folk who don’t get involved in the worship. They won’t praise God and they don’t want you to praise God either. I mean when you begin to praise God, they’ll look at you out of the corner of their eye, they’ll draw all up, and if you don’t stop they’ll try to get up and move to another pew. But the word says that the more they tried to stop Bartimaeus, the louder he got! "Jesus, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me!" And as he cried, verse 49 says, “And Jesus stood still.” There are not three greater words in the Bible than all of that; JESUS. STOOD. STILL. This crowd was ready to keep on marching but Jesus stood still. The crowd tried to get Bartimaeus to be quiet. We don’t want to have to have Him stop. He’s on His way somewhere. But Jesus stood still. It’s not a president, not a preacher, not a potentate, it’s just a blind man sitting by the side of the road; who cries, “Jesus, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.” “And Jesus stood still.”
Do you know that the only reason we can really call on God is because of His mercy. Mercy is withheld judgment. Now, if judgment took place in this room this morning, it would be empty. Because not any of us really deserve to be here this morning. We are here this morning because of God’s mercy. We are here this morning because God has withheld His judgment. You nor I have not lived well enough today to warrant being here this morning; but we are here because of God’s mercy.
Sometimes as I am witnessing to people and ask them why they are not a member of the Church; they often tell me, Well Reverend I don’t go because the Church is filled with so many hypocrites. And whenever I hear that I realize that I am talking to someone who really doesn’t know what the church is all about. Because as members of the Church, we are not here today because of any self-righteousness on our part. But we are here because we have a consciousness of our sinner-hood. The saints of the Church are sinners who cried out for mercy! In other words, we are all sinners saved by grace; and we are here because of God’s mercy! And yet, there are still some folks who want to block your blessing.
But the book says, “Jesus stood still.” Not just anybody but Jesus. This fellow who is on an eternal errand from God, Jesus. This man who is on a cosmic timetable that’s leading Him to the Cross, Jesus. Lord of the Universe, Creator of Heaven and Earth, God in the flesh. Jesus. Stood. Still. And you know that’s just like Jesus. When you check His record out that’s a thread that runs all through the Bible; Jesus stood still. He’s on His way to Jarius house to see about a sick little girl but a woman elbows her way through the crowd and touches the hem of His garment and Jesus stood still. He is on His way up to the temple and He passes by a pool and He sees a lame man and Jesus stood still. Passes by the grave of Lazarus and He stood still long enough to call him from the tomb.