Summary: Exposition of Mark 10:46-52 about lessons regarding discipleship from the life of Bartimeus
Text: Mark 10:46-52, Title: Blind Discipleship, Date/Place: NRBC, 4/27/08, PM
A. Opening illustration: tell about Gordon Dykes preaching
B. Background to passage: Mark continues with his discipleship theme, after several passages teaching about discipleship, he gives us an example. Bartimaeus is healed and saved in this passage, becoming a disciple of Jesus.
C. Main thought: in the text we will see four truths about looking at discipleship from a blind man
A. Not confused about Jesus (v. 47, 51)
1. Ol Bart uses a term, “Son of David,” that no one in the gospel of Mark had used. This was a term with huge messianic overtones. The Jews awaited their Messiah who would be a descendant of David according to Isaiah and Jeremiah. This descendant would lead in the manner of David, delivering the people and ruling in righteousness. And this blind man, who in one sense could see better than most, addressed Jesus as the Messiah, the anointed one. Then he also called him “Rabboni,” which was a term that was used in prayer to address God. It translates as “my Great Master,” and was only in rare occasions used for another human being. Bart knew who he was speaking to—both Christ and Lord.
3. Illustration: Mormons and other cults begin with a false Christology, O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing,
4. How essential it is for us to know in whom we have believed. And of course it is not enough to simply know about Him, but we must not neglect this aspect of the faith. There are certain components about Him that are crucial to the salvation He provides us. Far too much modern Christianity is unconcerned with correct doctrine. And thus we have failed to raise up disciples into the next generation. Be cautious when you hear people say things like, “it really doesn’t matter what we believe, we just need to…” We must be clear on who Jesus is, and insist on Him being known as who He really. All Christian messages center upon Him. But we can’t assume that everyone believes like us. He is the Alpha and Omega, He is eternal, He exists in a hypostatic union, He is virgin born, He is sinless, He is the brightness of the glory of God and the express image of his person, He is the fullness of the Godhead bodily. This has implications toward the fame of His Name. Christ desires to manifest His true value and worth in all its glory.
B. Not stopped by opposition (v. 48)
1. Here we see the religious crowd effect. A bunch of religious people get together with their own agenda’s, and in effect they shut out those that really need help. But my point is not the crowds necessarily, but the fact that the more they tried to silence Bart, the more he cried out. This bears out a great truth—genuine faith is not thwarted by opposition. When suffering and persecution come, the truly born again, although they may falter for a season, will bear up under pain for Christ’s sake.
2. Matt 5:10-16, 2 Cor 6:4-10, Rom 8:31-39, 1 Cor 15:2,
3. Illustration: the tradition of singling out visitors in a worship service, I think of David Livingstone, the pioneer missionary to Africa, who walked over 29,000 miles. His wife died early in their ministry and he faced stiff opposition from his Scottish brethren. He ministered half blind. His kind of perseverance spurs me on. As I run, I remember the words in his diary: Send me anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on me, only sustain me. Sever me from any tie but the tie that binds me to Your service and to Your heart. Joseph Stowell, John G. Paton, a nineteenth-century missionary to the South Seas met opposition to leaving his home in Scotland and going to preach to the cannibalistic people of the New Hebrides Islands. A well-meaning church member moaned to him, “The cannibals, the cannibals! You’ll be eaten by the cannibals!” Without hesitation, Paton replied, I confess to you that if I can live and die serving my Lord Jesus Christ, it makes no difference to me whether I am eaten by cannibals or by worms;
4. We must guard against our traditions, relationships, rules, etc. putting up unnecessary barriers to people coming to Christ. Again, one of the things that we have erred on in the past, and must be clear about, is that the caveat to eternal security is false professions. And this is why it is so scary to forsake the faith for any reason, to drop out of church for any reason, to fail to practice your faith for any reason. It could indicate that you never really believed. True believers should embrace suffering and shine for Jesus through it. And this is where we shine the best—during persecution.