Summary: Misery is the object of mercy.
Bartimaeus receives sight.
Mark 10:46-52. 11/30/03
Jesus and His disciples were on their way to Jerusalem for one of the biggest festivities celebrated by the Jews. It was nearing the time of the Passover and Jesus, along with thousands would be in Jerusalem for that time. On their way to Jerusalem for that celebration, they passed through the city of Jericho. And now on the outskirts of Jericho, there were beggars sitting by the roadside begging for money. And among these by the roadside was a man by the name of Bartimaeus, blind and begging. And verse 47 says, “ when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he begin to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.”
Now the first point I want to call your attention to is the misery of the man. Misery is the object of mercy.
When we think of the miseries of the world certainly being blind would be counted among the top. There are many in our work force with a missing limb. They can work with a missing leg or a missing arm but to be blind would certainly cut down on the options of what one would be able to do. Making a living and especially in Jesus day for the blind to make a living was hard. They had to resort to begging on the roadside.
Now we don’t know how long Bartimaeus had been blind but it only took a moment for him to decide to call on Jesus for help. Jesus had met many in His time here on earth who had 20/20 vision but were spiritually blind. Some were religious leaders but blind to who Jesus was. Some were even family members but blind to who Jesus was. But Bartimaeus heard the report that Jesus was coming by and the Bible says he cried out. He had not seen the miracles Jesus performed had only heard of them. He responded to what he had heard in faith.
I want to tell you folks, there are many in our churches this morning who are blind to who Jesus is. Many of them have herd the Gospel many times. They have heard that Jesus died for the sins of mankind. They have heard that Jesus rose again and in heaven preparing a place for those who receive Him in faith. But many of them will leave as miserable as when they came in because of not responding to the Gospel message in faith. I pray that all of us will be like those whom Peter wrote when he said, “though you have not seen Him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him.” You don’t have to leave here with the misery of being lost without hope but can leave here saved by the grace of God.
I want us to see not only the misery of the man but also the misconception of the crowd.
Doubt is the headquarters of liberalism. What is it that labels a person a liberal? It is doubt.
One commentary I was reading on this particular verse mentions that is was natural for people, even the disciples to attempt to shield Jesus from people like Bartimaeus. If that is true then it is unfortunate because people like Bartimaeus was the very reason He left the portals of heaven to walk this earth. Jesus is nearing the end of His ministry here on earth. He is 18 miles from Jerusalem where He would make His famous Triumphal Entry. His disciples had been with Him for about 3 years. If they had learned anything from Jesus it was that people were not to be avoided but the reason for His coming. Jesus saw blind Bartimaeus as one who needed help.
Unfortunately, that was not the thinking of most of the crowd. This crowd, who would not drop a coin in his cup said you hold your peace. If you believe that Jesus can give sight to the blind you keep it to yourself. Bartimaeus had expressed his faith in Jesus as being the Messiah because he called Him the Son of David. This crowd said that is all right if you believe that but keep it to yourself. But the more this liberal crowd shouted for Bartimaeus to keep quite, the louder he shouted. He wanted the attention of Jesus and he got it. In verse 49 the Bible says, “Jesus stood still.”
Jesus heard someone cry for mercy. Did He not hear the crowd? Sure He did but it was the cry for mercy that stopped Him in His tracks. He heard one cry for mercy and He knew this one meant business. He was not playing religious as some did but was serious. Jesus said you go get that man and bring him here.