Summary: Challenging people to react to the needs around them.

Bothersome Bartemaeus

Mark 10: 46-52

Intro: One of the great mysteries of life is how the idiot that your daughter married can be the father of the smartest grandchildren in the whole world. --- Officer, the guy yelled, my father-in-law knocked me down with his car! Are you sure it was your father-in-law? ABSOLUTELY! I’d recognize that laugh anywhere! “Pain-in-the-neck” people

I. Vs. 47 – Here is a beggar, seeking to draw attention to himself – shouting, disruptive.

A. Surely, he knew something about Jesus b/c when he hears it is Jesus, he raises a fuss.

B. Desperate desire or desperate need sometimes brings people to take desperate action.

C. Vs.51 Bartemaeus knew exactly what he wanted and needed.

II. But, look at the difference between Vs. 48 and 49. The dialogue goes from Shut up to Cheer up / get up.

A. In 2007, a social experiment took place in a Washington, DC Metro Station. Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world played for 45 minutes on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Not one person stopped to listen. About 20 threw money in his till and kept walking their normal pace.

B. That is how we frequently respond to the need around us. We turn a blind eye and a deaf ear because we are too busy to get involved.

C. More often, like many people, we throw money at need to soothe our conscience.

Conclusion – Bartemaeus did not fold garment carefully – Vs. 50 he threw it away and leaped to his feet. Such a headlong response to the words “he is calling you!” Christ calls. There is need here in our community. How will we respond?

Full illustration:

In the Washington DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approximately 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle-aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 minutes later: the violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the till and, without stopping, continued to walk.

6 minutes: A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

10 minutes: A 3 year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly, as the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced them to move on.

45 minutes: The musician played. Only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32.

1 hour: He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew that the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a real story.

Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities.

The questions raised: in a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments .....How many other things are we missing?

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