“On Your Mark”
Sight Recovered (Chapter 10 Verses 46-52)
On the way to Jerusalem, they pass through Jericho (v46). The fact that Mark only records one man, does not mean there were not two (parallels). Now here is a man blind in body but not soul. He could see what some of the Jews never saw. They had the opportunities, they saw the miracles, lepers cleansed, the dead raised, but he was deprived of this because he was blind. But he heard and he believed (John 20.29). He is not going to miss this opportunity. He is told that it is Jesus of Nazareth (Luke 18.36f), that almost contemptuous title, the Son of David, Messiah, of whom Isaiah said he would open the eyes of the blind (Isaiah 61.1-2; Luke 4.18). The blind beggar man has already heard so much about Jesus, and his ministry, the hope just rises and rises in his soul. Does not just his very name do that for you? The more he is told to shut up, the more he shouts, nothing is going to put him off. Here, surely is the best advice you can give any seeker, go on, and on, keep on asking, seeking, knocking until he answers you (Luke 11.1-13).
The Lord does not take much stopping (v49). But then that is what Bartimaeus expected, that is what faith expects, a positive answer (Mark.9.23). And Jesus never quenches the weakest faith. But it is faith that leads to Jesus (v50), again, and again. Is Rabbi (NIV) strong enough (v51)? No! Lord, or Rabboni at least (see AV for best). It is the same word Mary used at the tomb, Rabboni (John 20.16), is it perhaps worship? It certainly means Teacher! My Teacher! And who better to teach us (Matthew 11.25-30). And who better to worship. That is what it means to be a Christian, to worship the Lord Jesus. There are a plethora of religions that will agree that there is but one God, even the devils believe that (James 2.2.19). No, the question is, who is your God, whom do you worship? Is it Jesus? It is his faith that has brought about his wholeness (v52). Not faith in faith, for faith in and of itself has no power to do anything, it is faith in Jesus Christ. That is what brings healing, forgiveness, deliverance, that is what brings the Kingdom of God to our hearts, simple faith. He still does not have any money, he is still a beggar in the eyes of the world, but he has just become a king (1Peter 2.9). He has just been reconciled to God, the condemnation has been lifted (Romans 8.1). He is a man with a future. That is cause for limitless joy is it not (Philippians 4.7)? When did you last rejoice in what Jesus is (present), doing for you?
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)