The Gospel

It seems that all through chapter 10 the theme has been service. Particularly in v.45 Jesus brings it to a boil when he says “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Even Jesus came to serve and he was the one person who deserved to BE served…

Anyway, I’m not sure the ‘Flats’ post worked like I wanted it to with regard to service. It was more of a reverse good Samaritan deal, not really a post on serving. This one isn’t really either but I’ve found another jewel hidden away here in Mark that I’d like to write about…

”46 And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. 47 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!” 48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” 50 And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.” —Mark 10:46-52 (ESV)

Now in Mark Jericho is the last stop before Jerusalem. In the Old Testament, if you’ll recall from your Sunday School days, the city of Jericho was razed by the Israelites after the Lord knocked down its great walls. It was rebuilt later during the reign of Ahab and his infamous wife Jezebel and now, centuries later, Jesus is walking out the gates of the place on his way to Jerusalem and Calvary and the Cross. In spite of all this that had to be weighing on him, he stops to help a man who was in dire need of help. He stops on his way to serve and I think its something we all need to consider. Jesus was never to busy doing something to be interrupted with the business of his Father.

In this passage a request is made of Jesus and I want to try to contrast it to the requests of James and John in our study last week. This request is made by someone not in ‘the group’ or any group for that matter. Everyone in every group has placed this man firmly in the ‘other’ category for the simple fact that he is blind and it is their duty as good Jews to support him with alms: Blind Bartimaeus, the beggar of Jericho. So destitute in his affliction that his parents didn’t even name him, he was merely the ‘son of Timaeus’.

As a result we have this gift of a picture of the Gospel and how it works into the lives of people like you and me—sinners in other words in desperate need of grace.

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4 responses to “The Gospel

  1. This request is made by someone not in ‘the group’ or any group for that matter. Everyone in every group has placed this man firmly in the ‘other’ category for the simple fact that he is blind…

    You know, this makes me think of 1 Cor. 1:26-30 and the grace we have been shown through Christ’s service.

    The fact that most Christians belonged to the “other” category compared to the status-dominated culture of the ancient world was actually an apologetic to the love of God and the love of the brothers for one another.

    Is it any different today? Doesn’t our culture prefer the football star or the beauty queen over this “other” category? And yet, can we honestly use that apologetic argument of the first century Christians?

  2. As for the ‘we’ as in present day Christians, I think that we are becoming more and more ‘something other’. I don’t want this to veer off into politics but the fact that ‘Christianity’ has become so connected to the Republican party that the Secretary of State of a Rep. White House can speak at the convention is troubling to me. So yes, I think we are ‘something other’. What I mean is that politicians have used the religion card to bludgeon the public into thinking they’re ‘good’ for so long that many folks just aren’t buying it. They can’t see a difference so whats the point. Us thrity somethings are very hardened to that sort of thing.

    (Good verse by the way) On the other hand I think Bartimaeus was used to make John and James request a few verses prior to that look foolish and selfish. They asked for status for themselves, Bartimaeus just wanted to see so he could quit begging for a living. To me its the difference between a comfy church goer and someone who is living in the squalor of their sin who never hears the gospel preached BECAUSE the first group is too comfy. Most folks are right there in their padded seats on Sunday morning but wouldn’t lift a finger to share the gospel with a blind beggar or a leper or, say, someone living in wretched abject poverty. Like those folks down the road in that…[insert cheap housing addition here].

  3. but wouldn’t lift a finger to share the gospel with a blind beggar or a leper or, say, someone living in wretched abject poverty.

    You’re right to make the comparison between the majority of the present day church and the disciples a few verses earlier. And, while Bartimaeus is a picture of sinners living in the squalor of their own sin, the account is also a picture of Christ Who opens our eyes and lifts us out of the mirey clay…so to speak.

    The opening of our eyes is not for the mere self-adulation of “look, now I can see,” but so that we who WERE blind can lead others who ARE blind to the Savior – not jockey for the best view.

    You make a good comparison between the two accounts.

  4. we who WERE blind can lead others who ARE blind to the Savior – not jockey for the best view.

    Exactly. The first thing Bartimaeus did was ‘follow Jesus in the way’. He could see and he made good use of his sight.

    I didn’t actually ‘see’ it that way until you pointed it out with 1 Cor. 1:26-30. That was a shocker.

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