Summary: Today, as we look at the healing of Bartimaeus, we will ask and answer two questions. First, can God heal you? Can Jesus heal you? Secondly, will God heal you? Will he heal you?
THE HEALING POWER OF GOD
Today we come to a healing story. We’ve read it already – its the account of Jesus healing blind Bartimaeus.
When we come to these healing stories, what do we do with them?
We tend to take one of two approaches:
We relegate them to the past, and spiritualize them: God used to heal, the message is that God is powerful.
Or we over emphasize them, making them the whole point of the gospel or of our ministry: All God wants to do is heal you.
But these accounts are real events that really happened, and they’re in here for a reason.
So today I’d like to talk to you about healing.
Today, as we look at the healing of Bartimaeus, we will ask and answer two questions.
First, can God heal you? Can Jesus heal you?
Secondly, will God heal you? Will he heal you?
Our passage deals with healing, specifically physical healing – a blind man receives his sight. But we will expand our definition of healing to include other physical healings – diseases, injuries, maladies; as well as emotional wounds, and even relationships. When I ask “can God heal you,” this is what I mean. Can God heal your body, your mind, your relationships.
Let’s take a closer look at our passage, Mark 10:46.
Can God heal your body? If you are ill, can he make you (or your spouse, or your parent, or your child) well? Can God cure your depression, relieve your addiction, restore your emotional well-being? Can God heal what has happened in your marriage, or with your parents?
A. Our text says he healed Bartimaeus
As Jesus approached Jerusalem, Bartimaeus heard him coming and cries out for his attention. Jesus asks him what he wants, and Bart says he wants to see. In v. 52 we see Jesus’ response: Your faith has made you well. Immediately he received his sight.
B. Other texts say he can heal
Throughout Mark, we have seen Jesus heal people: He has healed people with leprosy, paralyzed, shriveled hand, internal bleeding, demon-possession, etc.
[Bruce: make each of these 4 verses its own slide. Include just the portion of the verse I have written out:]
Mark 1:34: “…Jesus healed many who had various diseases.”
Ex. 15:26: “I am the Lord, who heals you.”
Ps. 103:2-3: “Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.”
Ps. 147:3: “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
The OT is full of examples.
Not only in the OT times and in Jesus’ times, but after:
Acts 3:1-8; 4:9-10 – a crippled man healed in Jesus’ name.
Acts 5:14-16 – the apostles healed many.
Acts 28:7-9 – Many are healed through Paul on Malta.
James 5:14-16 – people should expect to be healed.
The Scriptures make it clear that God can heal people.
Not only that, there’s more:
C. Our experience says he can heal.
You are surrounded by people who would say they have been healed by God. Here is one such story.
Our God is not powerless, he is powerful, and able to heal.
Our God is not distant, but near to us, and able to heal.
I. GOD IS MORE THAN ABLE TO HEAL
God is more than able to heal you – your body, your mind, your broken heart. God can heal you. Can you believe this?
Transition: Our first question was, “Can God heal you.” We have demonstrated that yes, in fact, God is able to heal you. But that is only part of the equation. There is another crucial question: Will God heal you? Its one thing to say God can heal you, another to say he will heal you. Does God want to heal you? Many of us labor under burdens of un-received healing. Under what circumstances, conditions, will God heal you?
Let’s return to our text in Mark 10 to find out. Let’s read vv. 46-48.
A. Receiving healing involves faith
As soon as he hears Jesus is coming, he begins to shout.
He had obviously heard of Jesus, and was convinced that he could help him.
He cries out, shouts, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
we hear this cry in Psalms (4:1; 6:2; 41:4,10; 51:1; 123:3).
This is an expression of faith. He believes Jesus can help.
Not spur of the moment faith, he’d been thinking of it.
And when the crowd, no doubt callused to the cry of beggars, tells him to be quiet, he just gets louder.
He is persistent. This is a characteristic of faith.
Faith is involved. Notice Jesus’ response in vv. 49-52.
Jesus engages him to establish the existence of his faith, and to strengthen it by having him express it.