Summary: This sermon is part of our "A Faith That Works" series. We are looking at the encounter Jesus had with blind Bartimaeus.
A Faith That Works
“Moving Forward By Faith”
We’re continuing our series, “A Faith That Works,” and tonight we’ll be looking at what it’s going to take to move ahead by faith.
“Have you ever wished you could just start all over, to go back and do it all over again, or as some would say, have a do-over.”
Yet as chefs will tell you, “You can’t un-cook lasagna, but you can start over.” And the same goes for our lives. We can’t undo what we’ve done, but we can have a brand new start, and God wants to give to us that fresh start. God is the God of new beginnings.
King David knew of such new beginnings.
“The Lord upholds all who fall, and raises up all who are bowed down.” (Psalm 145:14 NKJV)
Maybe we can interpret the passage this way. “God gives a fresh start to those ready to quit.”
If you’ve felt like quitting, or you’re at the point right now, then you’re at the right place, that is, church, and you’re reading the right book, the Bible. The Bible says not to grow weary in doing good, and we’re to always pray and not lose heart, 2 Thessalonians 3:13; Luke 18:1.
Tonight I’m going to talk about how we can have that fresh start regardless of our, past, or how badly we’ve messed up. To do this we’re going to be looking a blind Bartimaeus.
“Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.’ And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus. So Jesus answered and said to him, ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’ The blind man said to Him, ‘Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go your way; your faith has made you well.’ And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.” (Mark 10:46-52 NKJV)
As Jesus was walking through Jericho a large crowd was following. On the roadway there was a blind beggar by the name of Bartimaeus, and when he heard that Jesus was passing by, he began to yell out for Jesus to have mercy on him.
Now to be blind in those days meant that you couldn’t work, nor could you go anywhere by yourself, because many of the amenities we take for granted they never had. All Bartimaeus could do was to have family and friends set him on the side of the road where he could beg. It was a miserable life.
And so when Jesus walked by, Bartimaeus thought, “This is my chance! This is where I can get a fresh new start in life. This is one opportunity I’m not going to miss!” And so he begins to yell out above the crowd, “Jesus, Son of David! Have mercy on me.”
This very act begins our study, and the first step in getting a fresh start.
1. Take Advantage of the Opportunity
God puts us in places where we can meet with Him and have that new beginning and fresh start. So we have to take advantage of the opportunity when it presents itself.
Bartimaeus took advantage of this opportunity. He couldn’t wait until tomorrow, because Jesus was passing by today, so it was now or never. That’s the key to a fresh start. Don’t procrastinate. It’s now or never, so take advantage of the opportunities, seize the moment.
Everyday there are fresh start opportunities. Opportunities to make right the wrongs, to witness to a friend or co-worker, for being a better spouse or parent, or making a brand new start. Yet we don’t take advantage of them, and the reason is because of procrastination.
“I spent a fortune on a trampoline
A stationary bike, and a rowing machine
Complete with gadgets to read my pulse
And gadgets to prove my progress results
And others to show the miles I’ve charted
But they left off the gadget to get me started”
Procrastination doesn’t make our lives easier; rather it just creates more stress. The truth is we already know the right things to do, and the benefits of doing right things, but we still procrastinate.
The Bible warns us about presuming upon tomorrow, because none of us are guaranteed tomorrow, so whatever we’re going to do, we need to do it now.