Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Take Heart thoughts on Mark 10:46-52

A blind man called Bartimaeus survived by begging along the side of a road in the ancient city of Jericho. One day Jesus passed by Bartimaeus. There was a huge crowd with Jesus as he headed on towards Jerusalem. Bartimaeus called out in hope to Jesus,

υἱὲ Δαυὶδ Ἰησου̂, ἐλέησον με son of David, Jesus/Jeshou have mercy on me.
He believed Jesus was the one who could make a difference. But some in the crowd gathered around Jesus were upset that this man would call out to him. They were shouting at him to shut up and just be quiet. But Bartimaeus wasn't about to be quiet. He called out again to Jesus.
υἱὲ Δαυίδ, ἐλέησον με. son of David have mercy on me.
Jesus heard his call and stopped. Bartimaeus' call for help was now part of the plan for Jesus. His need was no mere interruption. Healing and mercy were part of the journey that Jesus was taking. He called for Bartimaeus to come. The people in the crowd turned saying,
θάρσει, ἔγειρε, φωνει̂ σε take heart he's calling you.
In this moment need and hope met. Bartimaeus believed Jesus could change his life. He jumped up and left his cloak behind. It was like he was leaving everything behind, even his most basic protection from the elements in order to get close to Jesus.

I wonder what Bartimaeus felt and thought in that moment as he heard Jesus' question,
τί σοι θέλεις ποιήσω What do you wish/want me to do for you?
Bartimaeus spoke so honestly naming exactly what he wanted.
ῥαββουνί, ἵνα ἀναβλέψω Rabbi I want to see again
Jesus responded in to his call for help,
ὕπαγε, ἡ πίστις σου σέσωκεν σε Go; your faith has made you well
And that moment Bartimaeus could see and he started to follow him along the way. For Bartimeus it was so simple. He had no doubts and nothing to turn back to. He was ready to join Jesus in the journey that would take him from Jericho to Jerusalem.

One thing that bothers me about this story is the crowd who told Bartimaeus to shut up. I wonder what it was about this one man's call for help that bothered some in the crowd. It makes me wonder how I react, as a member of the crowd who wants to follow Jesus, when someone calls out for help. Do I listen? Do I join others in the crowd and just demand that the hurting be quiet? It makes me wonder what those of us who walk with Jesus can do to help the hurting to speak.

Peace and thanks for reading, John