Summary: Bartimaeus had some obstacles to overcome to get to Christ. This message encourages young people to overcome whatever hinderance they have in coming to Christ.
Bartimaeus: Overcoming Obstacles
Mark 10: 46 – 52 Jesus and His followers were walking through Jericho. They were on their way to Jerusalem. Many people were traveling through to go to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover, so it was a carnival-like atmosphere. Venders had booths set up along the roadway to try to attract business from people passing by them. They were selling and shouting to the people walking by. A man named Bartimaeus was sitting beside the roadway, begging. Bartimaeus was blind. He didn’t have anything to sell; he was just calling out for mercy from those who walked by him. In that society, there was no welfare or social security; if you couldn’t work and didn’t have someone to take care of you, you had to beg for money or food to eat. It was a very sad situation for Bartimaeus. When he heard that Jesus was walking in front of him, he began to cry out to him, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" Those standing nearby began to rebuke him and tell him to be quiet. " But Bartimaeus shouted even louder, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" Suddenly Jesus stopped, right in front of him. "Call him," he said to those nearby. So they told the blind man, "Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you." Bartimaeus threw his cloak out of the way, jumped to his feet and felt his way to Jesus. "What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked him. Bartimaeus said, "Rabbi, I want to see!"
So Jesus healed him and said, "Go, your faith has healed you." Bartimaeus left his begging spot and followed Jesus along the road.
1. Come to Christ no matter WHO try’s to stop you.
Here is a guy who ignores his everybody, and throws away everything he has to meet Jesus face to face. And he is never the same again because of it. If Bartimaeus had listened to those around him and had not cried out to Jesus, he would have died a poor blind beggar. Jesus was walking through Jericho for the last time and no one knew that at the time. Bartimaeus certainly didn’t, but he knew that Jesus could heal him and he didn’t let anything or anyone get in the way of that. Those standing around were telling him to be quiet. Don’t you know he was glad he didn’t listen to them? Don’t let your friends or anyone else stop you from making a total commitment to Christ. Sometimes, we even have to go against our families. Don’t let anything come between you and him.
2. Come to Christ no matter WHAT try’s to stop you. This brings us to another very important point in this story. Notice that Bartimaeus threw his cloak aside when he went to Jesus. To us today, that doesn’t seem like much, but that cloak, which is an outer coat or robe, may have been the only thing of value Bartimaeus owned.
Poor people used their cloaks as covering when they slept and as shade during the day. It kept them warm at night and cool during the day. When he threw it aside to go to Jesus, he was saying, "I’m not letting anything in this world come between Jesus and me." Imagine, throwing everything of value you own aside - your car, your stereo, or computer - to get closer to Jesus. And isn’t it true that often, it is those very things, those material possessions we think so highly of, that come between us and God? Remember, Jesus said we can’t love both God and money. (Matthew 6:24) James says that "friendship with the world is hatred toward God." (James 4:4) Bartimaeus didn’t want that robe to slow him down as he raced to his healer. Let’s throw aside anything that comes between us and Him. Any sin; any relationship; any material possession.
3. Come to Christ & tell Him what you WANT. Notice that when he came to Jesus, Jesus asked Bartimaeus what seems like a silly question, "What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus knew exactly what he needed. But God wants us to tell him our needs. He wants us to confess that we need him to help us. Don’t short-change yourself in your prayers. What is it you really need? Be honest with God and confess to him that you cannot receive it without him.
4. Come to Christ and follow Him WHEREVER He goes. Finally, when Bartimaeus was healed, he "followed Jesus along the road." When we receive forgiveness from sins, we need to respond by following him. If you have received that wonderful gift of salvation from God, your response should be that now you follow him. And, by the way, Jesus was traveling toward a cross.