Summary: The Story of Bartimaeus is a story of 1. The Human Race 2. Courage and Perseverance 3. Transformation, Discipleship and Destiny
Title: Blind Faith!
Summary: Sometimes a story is more than a story. It is true with Bartimaeus story. It is our story as humans created to be a reflection of God's glory and honor. It is our story as seekers. It is our story as followers. It is the story of what Jesus can do in the life of a willing and surrendered person.
Proposition: The Story of Bartimaeus is a multi-dimensional story: It is the Story of the brokenness of humanity, It is the story of courage, faith and perseverance. It is the story of transformation - the opportunity to fulfill one's destiny. It is the story of Radical Discipleship.
The Story of Bartimaeus is the story of the Human Race - 1. Spiritually Blindness, Spiritual Brokenness and Powerless
The Story of Bartimaeus is a Sign Post pointing the way to Transformation. It is a Story of courage, faith and perseverance.
The Story of Bartimaeus is the story of a Sold Out Disciple. It is the Story of a Person Who Is Genuine, Whole and Healed.
Grace and Peace from God our Father and from Jesus Christ, our Savior and LORD!
One of my favorite memories growing up in my home church (Beattyville, Kentucky - Church of the Nazarene) was Vacation Bible School. That was one of most precious times of the year for our church. It was a time of the year that we enjoyed wonderful fellowship, amazing teamwork and enjoyed the opportunity to hear these life changing stories. It was a time of the year that senior adults, young adults, teens and children connected to work together, learn together and invest in one another.
For most of my growing up years, our V.B. S. director was a lady by the name of Lucy Hogan. She was an first-rate leader and possessed this amazing gift of storytelling. Each year she would share Bible stories that would touch our hearts and lives in transformative ways. Sometimes those stories would be from the Illustrated Bible Stories1 like "Barney's Barrel" or "Bobby's Lunch". At other times she would use flannel graph stories or just read a story from the Bible and share with us what the LORD had laid on her heart.
I cannot begin to tell you how much those stories meant to my spiritual life as a child. I cannot begin to tell you what it meant to have all those adults helping us create crafts, sharing homemade snacks and cookies and pouring their lives into us. It was like a little piece of heaven would come down each and every VBS season and we would all enjoy this sacred time of becoming one with God and with one another.
Mrs. Lucy's stories were always more than just reciting or reading a story. They were captivating and they were soul transforming. They were these simple stories that spoke to your heart whether you were a child, a teen or an adult.
Sometimes a story is much more than merely a story. Sometimes a story can be the doorway for life changing transformations to take place. Sometimes a story is able to reveal God's call on our lives. Sometimes a story can assist us as we try to fulfill our destiny as genuine human beings created to reflect God's Glory and Honor.
For example, if you have ever read C. S. Lewis' book, The Chronicles of Narnia, you know what I am talking about. It is more than a simple story about four young children going on this amazing mystical and magical adventure. It is the story of creation, the story of sin and salvation. It is a story of God's grace, mercy, forgiveness and love.
If you have had the chance to pick up the little book, The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams you know what I mean. And for those more modern business types if you have ever read, Who Moved My Cheese?, by Spencer Johnson, you know what I mean.
There are times that an author is able to take a simple story and while they are sharing truth on one level, they are simultaneously opening up volumes of truth and insight on whole other levels. They have the ability to weave multi-dimensional truths into their rather simple story(ies).
In our Gospel Lesson this morning we see that St. Mark is able to do this very same thing. On the surface, it appears that Bartimaeus' story is merely another miracle story in a list of miracle stories. Many Bible scholars believe that our story is part of a what is called a bookend passage that began with another miracle story about a blind man back in Mark 8:22 - 26. They believe that the whole section from Mark 8:22 to 10:52 forms a literary unit in which Mark is challenging his readers to mature and advance in their faith. Bible scholars have labeled this section of Mark as the "Discipleship" section or "Teachings on the Way to Jerusalem" section.