Summary: Discipleship is like this. It begins with our need, continues with gratitude, and is completed with unswerving loyalty.
“Holler For Jesus”
By: Rev. Kenneth Emerson Sauer,
Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church, Newport News, VA
Remember the story of The Good Samaritan?
Let’s take another look at it as we turn in our Bibles to Luke chapter 10 starting at verse 25.
Jesus told this “expert in the law” to “Go and do likewise.” And here in Mark chapter 10…our Gospel Lesson for this morning…we see Jesus practicing what He preached!
Unlike the Levite in the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus did not pass by on the other side of the road as He came to Jericho and blind Bartimaeus “began to shout, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
What are we told in verse 49? “Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him.”
Now, to put this into a little bit of perspective…
…Jericho was just about 15 miles Northeast of Jerusalem…
…and this was where Jesus was headed.
Jesus’ mind was now set on the Cross, there was a whole procession following Him…Jesus was just about to enter Jerusalem on a colt…
…and a whole bunch of folks were going to wave palm branches and shout: “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!…Hosanna in the highest!”
But here is blind Bartimaeus, a roadside beggar.
And this beggar was very important to Jesus, so important, in fact, that on His way to the Jerusalem Cross, Jesus stopped the whole procession in order to give him his sight back.
Jesus’ stopping said clearly, “You count.”
And that is one of the deep, permanent needs of humanity—the need for respect, the assurance that we “count,” that we are not just merely a number…
…one of many.
Bartimaeus was a man who had obviously heard about Jesus.
He had heard about the miracles Jesus had been performing…
…and here He comes…
…He may never come this way again…
…this was Bartimaeus’ big chance!
So, Bartimaeus hollered for Jesus!
He wasn’t going to let anything get in his way…
…get in the way of his opportunity for salvation!
Turn with me, if you would, to John Chapter 3 verse 8.
Jesus has just made the statement: “no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
And look what Jesus says in verse 8.
The Holy Spirit of God blows our way.
We can “hear its sound, but” we “cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.”
We are all given the opportunity that Bartimaeus was given.
Jesus came his way.
And Jesus comes our way.
This was Bartimaeus’ time to be saved or let Jesus just pass on by.
Look at verse 48 in Mark chapter 10 once more.
Bartimaeus was willing to go against the crowd in order to be saved.
Let’s face it, it is not necessarily ‘hip’ to become a follower of Jesus.
We’ve got the whole world telling us to go the other way…
…to follow the pack…
…to go down the wide road that leads to destruction…
…to give in to peer pressure…
…to ‘fit in’.
Bartimaeus was blind, but he wanted to see.
And here lies the key.
He wanted to see.
Many people do not want to see.
They’d rather stay in the darkness…and aren’t we told that this is the verdict which will decide our eternal destinies?
Let’s look at John chapter 3 again…this time beginning at verse 16.
What do we love…
…darkness or light?
Are we afraid of the light…lest we see something that we do not want to see?
Will there be too many changes if we allow the light to be turned on?
A friend of mine told me a story this past week about a woman who had been suffering with cataracts for quite some time.
Finally she had surgery to remove the cataracts.
After her surgery, my friend asked the woman, “So, how did the surgery go?”
“Well,” she replied. “It sure was a wake up call!”
“How so?” my friend asked.
“I have had this beautiful brown dress that I have always loved to wear. I always thought I looked so good in that beautiful dress.
But when I got home from my surgery I discovered that my dress is not brown at all! It’s green, and I hate green!”
Yes, things look mighty different once the lights come on.
And often there are things that we see that we don’t like…
…Things about our lives that we must allow Jesus to change as we begin and continue following Him along the road to eternal life.
Bartimaeus, the blind beggar wanted to see the light.
Look at verses 49-52.
“Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.”
This was Bartmaeus’ born again experience!
Can’t you picture this one-time blind beggar staying right close to Jesus as they climbed the road toward Jerusalem?