Faith seeking understanding

See Jesus clearly - follow the way of the cross

By Graham Stanton

July 5 2018The story in Mark’s gospel of Jesus healing the blind man, Bartimaeus, has much to teach us about discipleship and about what it really means to follow Jesus in sacrificial service, writes Graham Stanton.

What did last week’s sermon enable you to see?

I’m not asking about whether the preacher used an entertaining video clip. Instead I wonder how much our life of discipleship resembles that of Bartimaeus, the blind man we meet in Mark 10:46?

When Bartimaeus hears that it’s Jesus of Nazareth walking by, he shouts to him, “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me” (Mark 10:47). Even though Bartimaeus is blind, he “sees” Jesus clearly. Bartimaeus knows that Jesus is the son of David, the promised Messiah. And though he knows that he doesn’t deserve a share in the Messiah’s glory, he puts his hope in the Messiah’s mercy. And we know he means it, because when the crowd try to shut him down, he shouts louder still.

When Jesus stops and asks, “what do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51), it seems fairly obvious that Bartimaeus would ask to see. If I was blind, especially in the first century without any of the modern aids for those who are vision impaired, wanting to see would be at the top of my list. But in Mark’s story Bartimaeus’ answer is more profound than just physical healing. In Mark’s account of the Gospel, sight has a lot to do with discipleship.

 

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