The healing of Bartimaeus is unique in the synoptic gospels because he is the only person named whose healing is mentioned in Matthew, Mark and Luke. On the final part of His journey to Jerusalem, Jesus passed through Jericho. He was accompanied by the disciples and a large crowd. Bartimaeus, also named as “Son of Timaeus,” was a blind beggar sitting by the side of the road. Along with the other beggars, Bartimaeus would call out for help and beg for life’s necessities by the road side. When Bartimaeus heard Jesus was coming, he shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” It’s interesting to note how one son (son of Timaeus) calls for help from another son (Son of David).

For the first time in Mark, the crowd tried to silence someone. Perhaps they believed a blind beggar was not worth the time or effort of Jesus. Jesus had more important things to do than spend time with an outcast. Whatever the reason, the crowd tried to keep Bartimaeus away from Jesus. No crowd could silence Bartimaeus from shouting to Jesus. He was desperate, and his desperation was the determining factor for his faith.

Jesus stopped dead in His tracks. Imagine the Lord walking by the crowded roadside, deafened by cries and shouting people, and hearing Bartimaeus. How wonderful it is that Christ allowed the cry of a poor, blind, powerless beggar to stop Him and turn Him toward Bartimaeus.

Then Jesus told the crowd to summon Bartimaeus. The same crowd that tried to stop Bartimaeus then told to start Bartimaeus on his way to Jesus. It’s amazing what the changing power of Christ can do from one minute to the next with the same crowd. The crowd told Bartimaeus to take heart and get up because Jesus wanted to see him. These same words, “take heart,” were used earlier when Jesus called out to the frightened disciples on the sea (Mark 6:50). He jumped up like a spring, threw off his cloak and groped his way to Jesus. Remember, he was a blind man seeking the way to Jesus.

“What do you want Me to do for you?” asked Jesus. This is the same question He asked James and John earlier. The Sons of Thunder wanted fame and to sit with Jesus in glory. Bartimaeus wanted faith and to follow Jesus on the way. James and John asked for an extraordinary part of Jesus’ kingdom while Bartimaeus asked for ordinary sight.

Bartimaeus answered Jesus, “My Teacher, let me see again.” He did not ask for power, wealth, fame or glory; but only for common eyesight. He did not want to be superhuman, only simply human. Jesus responded, “Go; your faith has made you well.” To be well is to be saved physically and spiritually. Bartimaeus suddenly could see and follow Jesus. He received sight and insight. “Immediately, he regained his sight and followed Him on the way.”

Imagine you are able to stop Jesus in His tracks. What did you say to catch Christ’s attention? What did you do when He looked at you? What did you request of Him? If you were blind, would you be as courageous as Bartimaeus? How would you grope your way to Jesus?

What kind of sight would you desire: physical, spiritual or other? Above all, never forget or disbelieve the good news: Jesus Christ has stopped dead in His tracks for you on top of a hill called Calvary. Because of the death and resurrection of Christ, your cries by the side of the road have been heard and answered; “Your faith has made you well.”

Share This On:

Proper 25 (B), October 26, 2003
When Jesus Stood Still
Mark 10: 46-52

The healing of Bartimaeus is
unique in the Synoptic gospels because he is the only person named
whose healing is mentioned in Mathew, Mark and Luke. On his final part
of his journey to Jerusalem, Jesus passes through Jericho. He is
accompanied by the disciples and a large crowd. Bartimaeus, who is
also named as “Son of Timaeus”, is a blind beggar sitting by the side
of the road. Along with the other beggars, Bartimaeus would call out
for help and beg for life’s necessities by the road side. When
Bartimaeus hears that Jesus is coming, he shouts, “Jesus, Son of
David, have mercy on me.” It’s interesting to note how one son (son
of Timaeus) calls for help from another son (son of David).

Now,
for the first time in Mark, the crowd tries to silence someone.
Perhaps they believed that a blind beggar was not worth the time or
the effort for Jesus. Jesus had more important things to do that to
spend time with an outcast. Whatever the reason, the crowd tries to
keep Bartimaeus away from Jesus. But no crowd can silence Bartimaeus
from shouting to Jesus. He is desperate and his desperation is the
determining factor for his faith.

Jesus stops
dead in his tracks. Imagine the Lord walking by the crowded roadside,
deafened by cries and shouting people, and hearing Bartimaeus. How
wonderful it is that Christ allows the cries of a blind, poor,
powerless beggar to stop Him and turn Him toward Bartimaeus.

Then
Jesus tells the crowd to summon Bartimaeus. The same crowd that tried
to stop Bartimaeus is now told to start Bartimaeus on his way to
Jesus. It’s amazing what the changing power of Christ can do from one
minute to the next even with the same crowd. The crowd tells
Bartimaeus to “take heart” and get up because Jesus wants to see him.
These same words – “take heart” – were used earlier when Jesus
called out to the frightened disciples on the sea (Mk. 6:50). He
jumps up like a spring, throws off his cloak and gropes his way to
Jesus. Remember, he is a blind man seeking the way to Jesus.

“What
do you want me to do for you?” asks Jesus. This is the same question
he asked James and John earlier. The “sons of thunder” wanted fame
and to sit with Jesus in His glory. Bartimaeus wants faith and to
follow Jesus on the way. James and John ask for an extraordinary part
of Jesus’ kingdom while Bartimaeus asks for ordinary sight.

Bartimaeus
answers Jesus, “My teacher, let me see again.” He does not ask for
power, wealth, fame or glory but only for common eyesight. He does
not want to be superhuman, only simply human. Jesus responds, “Go
your faith has made you well.” To be well is to be saved both
physically and spiritually. Bartimaeus can now see and he can now
follow Jesus. He has received his sight and his insight.
“Immediately, he regained his sight and followed him on the way.”

Imagine
that you are able to stop Jesus in His tracks. What is it that you
said that caught the attention of Christ? What would you do when He
looks at you? What is it you would ask for? If you were blind, could
you be as courageous as Bartimaeus? How would you grope your way to
Jesus?
What kind of sight would you desire: physical, spiritual? Above all,
never forget or disbelieve the Good News: that Jesus Christ has
stopped dead in His tracks for you on top of a hill called Calvary.
Because of the death and resurrection of Christ, your cries by the
side of the road have been heard and answered, “Your faith has made
you well.”

_______________

The
sermon brief provided by Dennis Bolton, Pastor of St. Stephen Evangelical Lutheran Church,
Lexington, SC.

Share This On: