Summary: Another look a Bartimaeus and how we can identify with him.


MARK 10:46-52

As we finish up our series on trusting, I thought that we’d look at a man who gives us a good example of how to trust God… I believe that many of us can identify with this man in our text… He is an example of many of us in the church who have had to trust and depend on God… Everybody has some type of obstacle... Some type of disadvantage... Some type of hindrance that stands in their way (Physical & Spiritual)… It is also a fact that God does not always remove the handicap, whether spiritual or physical, but He does however give us the ability to overcome them... He gives us the ability to Overcome Our Handicaps...!

Now, to fully appreciate this text, we must understand the context in which it sets... I’ve learn that you’ve got to understand the past to appreciate the present... First of all, we’ve got to understand that this episode takes place during the last days of Jesus’ ministry... He’s been teaching on marriage and divorce… He blesses little children and tells us that are faith must be like them…

He counsels a rich young ruler and tells him that to inherit eternal life, he must sell all his possessions and follow Him… He teaches that “with God all things are possible…” He predicts for the third time, His death and resurrection… He teaches us that there is greatness in serving… And now we find Him journeying from Galilee to Jerusalem, and on the way, He stops through Jericho. This is the place where He encounters Zacchaeus, the tax collector.... (tell the story) (v46) Our text informs us that as He was leaving Jericho, there was a man named Bartimaeus...

Not only have I learned to understand the past, but I’ve also learned that when you trace the etymology, or the history of a word, especially when dealing with scripture, it gives you a better picture of the whole account... The etymology of the word Jericho means curse... It became known as the accursed place because when Joshua captured it over in Joshua 6:26, he cursed it...!

The text says Jesus went to a city that was cursed... He went to the accursed place...! Jesus had a habit of going to places that other people avoid...! (I’m glad…) He went to the accursed place...! And as He was leaving, he met a man that lived there...!

Can you imagine living in a place that was accursed...? It’s one thing to just pass through and spend the night, but imagine if you had to live there...! Jesus went to the accursed place...! And as He was leaving, he met a man that lived there (v46) The man that lived in this accursed place was named Bartimaeus... If you continue your word study, you’ll find out that ‘Bar,’ is a Greek prefix that means ‘son of...’ So he was the ‘son of’ Timaeus... Therefore we can conclude that Bartimaeus was not his name...! It simply identifies him with his family...

Timaeus is his father’s name... The word ‘Timaeus’ means polluted, nasty, dirty, corrupt, filthy (you get the picture)... So Bartimaeus means "the son of the nasty man..." The son of the filthy man... The son of the corrupt man... The son of the messed-up man...! And he lived in the accursed place...! (You talkin’ about a handicap)

The place that he lived was cursed... His people were nasty... And he was blind...! His home was cursed... He couldn’t see... And his whole family was messed up...! And to top it all off and add insult to injury, the text says that he was begging...! He was a beggar…

He was dependent... Living on the generosity of others...! Tell somebody, “He had a handicap...!” I’m sure some of us can identify with Bartimaeus here, in the fact that we too have some handicaps… We too have some problems… We too have some difficulties…

But the real tragedy here is that we also have the proclivity (tendency) to major in our handicaps… To major in our problems... To major in our difficulties… But I want to serve notice to you today… That you can Overcome Your Handicaps...! You can Defeat Your Difficulties...! You can Master Your Misfortune...! I believe there are three issues in this text that we need to strongly consider… If we are to be successful in Overcoming Our Handicaps...!


The reason we can’t overcome our handicaps is because we get so focused in on our deficiencies, that we ignore our assets…! (v 47) "And when he heard that it was Jesus…" Tell somebody, "He heard…!" He was blind, but he was not deaf…!

Most of us would spend our time complaining about being blind, and ignore the fact that we could hear…! "And when he heard…!" So many people want to have a pity party, and moan and groan about what they don’t have, but you better thank God for what you do have…! Tell somebody, "Concentrate On Your Assets…!"

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Talk about it...

Joseph Johnson

commented on Feb 25, 2009

Deep. Deep. I like breaking it down. A messed up man, from a messed up family, from a cursed town. Talk about needing Jesus.

Kenneth Johnson

commented on Mar 21, 2009

Excellent word study and word play!!

Gene Beezer

commented on Sep 7, 2011

Great message! Well thought out and put together. One of the best I''ve read on Sermon Centrral.

Moses Makokha

commented on Nov 8, 2012

So invigorating! Mind if I glean some main points in my next sermon in church this Sunday? Am really blessed. May God continue to irrigate you copiously.

Bob Wright

commented on Aug 22, 2014

Actually I am a little worried about the word study - Timaeus is a greek name which means "honoured". Jericho's etymology is relatively unknown - but it doesn't mean cursed - 2 of the 3 possible etymologies - some with a basis in ruach (wind often referencing the Holy Spirit) - or spacious or some refer back to Canaanite roots which involve the idea of being fragrant. I love word studies and using their meanings to deepen texts and stories - but I think this one missed the mark...

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