Summary: When we see Jesus we see a friend Who loves us, A Sacior powerful enough to help us, and a leader worthy of following.
Looking Into the Master’s Face
Scripture: Mark 10:46-52
INTRO.: Jesus is nearing the end of His public ministry. He is headed for Jerusalem and certain death. In great detail, He predicts the things about to befall Him. Mark 10:33,34.
James and John come to ask for places of favor in His glory at His right and left hand. V. 37. We don’t give them enough credit. Their request came out of a sense of triumphing faith. Even after His predictions of death, they believed He would come into glory. Jesus replies He cannot grant that favor unless it is prepared for them (presumably, by the Father.)
The other ten become displeased with James and John for seeking personal glory. Jesus corrects them by saying James and John are not seeking glory. The positions they seek are positions of service. He states the importance of servanthood and closes with the words; "even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (45.)
As if to illustrate the truth he has just recorded, Mark begins the story of the blind man, Bartimaeus. Tell the story.
In his blindness, he was not alone. It has been estimated that half the people in Jesus day suffered eye damage because of glaring sun, dust, and poor sanitary conditions. He had missed seeing many things. But, the first thing he sees when his eyes are opened is the face of Jesus.
Looking into the Master’s face, he sees:
I. A friend to love:
A. Consider Bartimeaus’ pitiful condition:
1. A beggar: There was no other way for a blind person in Jesus’ day.
2. A nobody, known only as "The son of Timaeus."
3. Pitifully helpless, he seemed to have great faith in Jesus, because he cried out even when the crowd would have hushed him.
B. Consider the predicament in which Jesus found Himself:
1. He was about great things, teaching great truth.
2. He was a king on his way to claim his crown. Even the crowd considered this an intrusion.
3. The destiny of the world is about to be decided and He is faced with the dilemma of one pathetically inconsequential individual.
C. Illustration: In a stadium full of people, the TV camera sometimes zooms in on one nameless individual in the crowd. For one moment, he is, unknowingly, the star. This is how I think of Bartimaeus as Jesus (and Mark) focus in on him. In spit of everything, Jesus takes time to grant his wish.
1. God sees vast multitudes as individuals.
2. True greatness is seen in our reaction to the little things and little people.
3. Don’t overlook the little thankless tasks and pitiful people we encounter daily while waiting for some great opportunity to serve.
4. Jesus could not have passed by Bartimaeus without casting doubt on the truth He spoke in verse 45.
II. A Savior strong enough to help him::
A. Jesus demonstrated great power in this healing:
1. Of course, He could have granted any wish and intimated this with the question, "What do you want me to do for you?" V. 51
2. Bart asked for the one thing that seemed beyond human ability.
3. When he opened his eyes, he knew he was looking at the most powerful person who had ever lived.
4. He knew all the stories he had heard about Jesus were true.
B. Yet, the greatest tests of Jesus’ strength were yet to come:
1. The strength of His will would be tested in Gethsemane.
2. The strength of his spirit would be tested on Calvary.
3. The strength of His claims would be tested after three days in the tomb.
4. Jesus triumphed in every test.
C. Jesus still has the power to overcome evil and forgive sin:
1. He claimed power to forgive sins while in the flesh. Mark 2:10
2. He also has the power to keep us. No one can snatch us from Him. Phil. 1:6
3. Like Bart., we can live a life of victory, but we must be enlightened through Jesus Christ. "Open mine eyes that I may see glimpses of truth Thou hast for me"
III. A Leader worthy to be followed
A. Bart. Was compelled to follow Jesus:
1. For the first time in his life, he could be independent of everyone, yet he chose to follow.
2. He had received spiritual insight. His heart, as well as his eyes, had been opened to the Master.
3. Jesus didn’t have to ask him to follow. He couldn’t do otherwise.
B. Bart.’s story tells us there is a place in the Kingdom of God for everyone:
1. He was a blind beggar but Jesus found time to help him.