THE STORY OF BAR (INSERT NAME HERE)

Mark 10:46-52 tells the story of Jesus healing a blind beggar known as Bartimaeus. It is a well known account of Jesus’ healing ministry. The problem with “well known stories of the bible” is that we have a tendency to flip through them very quickly. Primarily because ‘we already know what happens’.

I happened to be listening to Mark 10 yesterday, and when it came to the story of Blind Bartimaeus, something in the passage caught my attention that had not in the many times I’d read this scripture in the past.

As a side note, I’m not a fan of advocating one bible version over another. The lovers of the KJV sometimes instruct everyone to read KJV as they believe it’s the original English translation, and therefore, the most accurate. I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with that claim here. I, personally, study by comparing several translations side by side. (It helps me to do it that way), but the version of the bible that I was listening to, when I heard what I heard was the KJV. Then, when I compared it to other translations, it read differently. So, since the Spirit of God caught my attention with the KJV, I will refer you to the KJV for this discussion.

Mark 10:

46 And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.

47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.

48 And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me.

49 And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.

50 And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.

51 And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.

52 And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

So, let’s walk thought it together, shall we?

46 And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.

1. Of all the accounts in the bible where Jesus healed a beggars (even this story as portrayed in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke), the account in Mark’s gospel is the only account where the beggar was referred to by name. The literal translation of the name Bartimaeus is said to be (Bar Timaeus) which translates to (son of Timaeus).

Therefore, the name here is really an identifier of who this person is.

He’s not just “A blind beggar”, of which I’m certain there were many in that region, in those days. He was a blind man who begged on the side of the highway and he was the son of Timaeus. The identification of Bartimaeus makes this account somewhat personal. Somewhat specific. “This is not a story of a blind beggar whom Jesus healed, this is a story of a SPECIFIC blind beggar whom Jesus healed. I believe the specification is made here because there is something different; something unique about Jesus’ healing of this particular man.

47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.

48 And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me.

2. I’m certain we’ve all heard this story preached in a sermon at least once in our Christian lives. We’ve heard that Bartimaeus, upon hearing that it was Jesus who was passing by, ‘cried out’ to get his attention. Upon being reprimanded to be quiet, he cried out all the louder still. We’ve been taught to consider the act when we are seeking something from God. ‘Cry out to Him” this has taught us. Then when your circumstances or your adversaries attempt to silence you or to discourage you, ‘cry out even louder’. It is an excellent and accurate lesson! When seeking the Lord for deliverance from our circumstances, we are indeed to boldly and loudly cry out to Him. The loudness does not indicate that we need to shout because Christ is hard of hearing, but that our voice of faith needs to be louder than the voice of our opposition and the voices that are looking to silence and discourage us. But there’s an additional point that I want to highlight in this passage.

The other amazing feature in this story is not simply that Bartimaeus cried out to Jesus, it is WHAT he cried out to Jesus.

The passage tells us “when He heard it was Jesus of Nazareth” he cried out; not just Jesus, not Rabboni, not master, not miracle worker, not prophet; though Jesus was all of those thing.

Bartimaeus did not simply cry out his name, or reference Him concerning what Jesus could do, Bartimaeus cried out WHO JESUS WAS!

“Jesus, thou Son of David”!

Bartimaeus addressed Jesus as the Messiah!

For one reason:

He BELIEVED that the Jesus of Nazareth, whom he had heard about, was indeed the one whom the scripture had foretold was The Son of David. The Messiah!

Even when he was charged to be silent, he cried out even louder “Thou Son of David, have mercy on me”!

Remember that this was a time when even the 12 disciples weren’t fully convinced if Jesus was the Christ or not. Enter this blind beggar. Positioned at the side of the road leading to Jericho. As he sat there, he was told of who was passing. It is what was that revelation stirred in him that makes all the difference in this story.

Bartimaeus wasn’t simply stirred by the fact that the man whom he’s heard had performed all of these miracles was now in front of him and now, he could get a miracle of his own. No! His spirit was stirred with the knowledge of “It’s Him! The one whom the scriptures foretold! It’s Him! He’s here!”

Bartimaeus’ faith was confident of not only what Christ could do, but of who He was. He believed on the Holy One of Isreal. He believed Jesus of Nazareth who was there in that moment was He.

Which brings us to a very pivotal moment. Not only in the life of Bartimaeus in that moment, but by application into the life of everyone today who not only believes what Jesus can do for them, but who believes on who Jesus of Nazareth is – The Son of David; The Lamb of God; He who takes away the sins of the world; Our Savior!

49 And Jesus stood still.

3. Jesus, in His Word tells us that He will never cast aside anyone who comes to Him. He also says that anyone who does anything in His name cannot speak evil of Him. The same Jesus also expressed exasperation at times when He addressed the requests of those who sought Him when he said, “How long must I be with you people…” But, when Blind Bartimaeus cried out to Him, He stopped. There was no exasperation. There was no question of “do you believe?” Jesus already knew not only Bartimaeus’ belief, but the type of belief that he had. So, when Jesus commanded that Bartimaeus be brought to Him, He went straight to the point by asking:

“What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?”

Before we talk about Bartimeus’ response, I need to point out a very significant thing that Bartimaeus did when He was called by Jesus.

50 And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.

4. I am a firm believer of everything in the bible having significance. There is no idle or irrelevant reference.

When I read this line again, yesterday, I asked, “Lord why are you referencing the garment?” Instantly, the answer came.

I said earlier that reading familiar passages routinely can cause us to gloss over some relevant symbolisms. On it’s own, the reference to “the garment” seems very insignificant. However, tie it in to the other significant parts of this story that we have pointed out so far, then the reference to “the garment” becomes huge!

Bartimaeus was a beggar for one reason:He was blind.

It was his blindness, his inability to ‘see’ that put him in the predicament that he was.

It is obvious from the scripture that Bartimaeus knew enough of the scripture to know of the coming of the Messiah.

It is also obvious from this scripture to know that Bartimaeus, before the day their paths crossed, had heard of Jesus of Nazareth.

So, on this day, when Jesus of Nazareth came his way, what Bartimaeus had already believed in his heart now burst forth from his mouth.

“Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.”

I wonder what Bartimaeus’ ponderings were before that day whe Jesus came his way.

I wonder if he prayed that He would come that way. I wonder if he ever said to himself, “If I could just meet him…”

This scripture, however, does tell me that Bartimaeus was well aware of his ‘blindness’ and the conditions that the blindness had subjected him to.

His blindness had made him a beggar. It had subjected him to sitting on the side of the road; with his beggar’s cloak and everything that identified him as a beggar.

Bartimaeus was a slave to his blindness. The cause of the blindness, we do not know. The effects of it are glaringly obvious. Bartimaeus was not content being a beggar, even though he was subject to it as a result of his blindness. I believe that the “cloak of the beggar” that he wore was directly related to a blindness that he desperately wanted taken away, but did not have the power to.

However, once Jesus called him, he cast aside the beggar’s cloak. Because he BELIEVED that Jesus, not only COULD cure his blindness, but WOULD cure his blindness.

Once Jesus, Son of David became a certainty in his life, Bartemeus rejected his beggars cloak. He cast it aside. Bescause rose up to go to Jesus with the ABSOLUTE FAITH that Jesus would open his eyes and his life would be changed forever.

Now, what happened next is really where the specifics of Mark’s account of this event truly make a difference. As I referenced in the beginning, it is also the main reason I chose to use the KJV over the other translations.

52 And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

6. We’ve already talked about the faith of Bartimaeus. Not just his faith in what Jesus could do, but his faith who Jesus was. It was this faith that Jesus referred to in this verse. It was this faith that made him “whole.”

His belief in who Jesus was healed his blindness and gave him back his sight.

His belief in who Jesus was cast off his cloak of bondage and shame.

Even more important than these 2 signs of deliverance, the biggest was that:

Once Bartimaeus received his sight, he followed Jesus “in THE way.”

Other translations of the bible write this to say that he followed Jesus to where He was going (along the road). I believe it goes deeper than that, and each key point that we have touched on in this passage alludes to that.

Bartimaeus’ heart was sealed in Christ that day and he went in “The Way, The Truth and The Life.”

He became a true believer of Christ.

Many walked with Jesus for a time. Many followed Him. Many chanted “Hosanna” and greeted him as he entered Jerusalem. But as many that followed Him for the things that they saw Him do, as many turned away from Him for the things that He did not do.

“If you really are the Son of God…”

Bartimaeus, on the otherhand, believed that Jesus was the son of God. No further convincing was needed. For that faith, Jesus not only healed his affliction, but He made him a complete man in Him.

The title of “Bar (Insert Your Name Here) was chosen because of how personal I believe this story is.

We are all the child of someone. Also, Jesus knows who we are. We are specific to Him.

We are all afflicted with some hinderance or another that keeps us under a cloak of bondage.

What is your ‘blindness’? What is your hinderance? What is your brick wall? What is your rut?

Are you sick and tired of the garment or identifier that your “blindness” has subjected/confined you to?

Are you tired of wanting to obey God yet the cycle of disobedience somehow sucks you back in?

Are you tired of tripping over the same stumbling stone, over and over again?

Are you held down by a physical/emotional/mental/behavioral trait that you can’t seem to shake no matter how desperately you try. Yet, you know that this trait is keeping you from walking in the way of Christ?

Are you tired of being unhappy? Depressed? Angry?Confused? Envious of others? Discouraged? Despondent? Resentful? Vindictive? Unforgiving? Unfulfilled? Stagnant? Unfruitful? Anxious? Nervous? Uncertain? Afraid? Insecure? Lost? Out of place?

If you are at a place that you cannot seem to get beyond or keep coming back to after it seems as if you made progress and that, ‘place’ has caused you to a state of helplessness…

Then, my friend, put yourself in the place of Bartimaeus, (Insert your Name here) and behold! Jesus, Son of David is there with you!

Cry out to Him.

He will stop!

When your oppression tries to restrain and stifle you, cry out louder still!

He will stop!

But, don’t just believe that He can change your circumstances?

Believe that He can change your life!

Believe that He cal change your way! So that you walk in The Way. In His Way!

Christ did not come to simply touch our lives, He came to change our lives!

But we have to believe in Him.

It is only in our believing on His Name; truly knowing Him and allowing Him to walk us in His way, that our blindness can be healed, our garments of bondage cast off, and we can be made whole in Him.

So, my friends, “Be of good comfort. Rise. He calleth thee.”

Now to him who is able to keep us from stumbling and to present us blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy. To the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

In Christ.

The handmaid at His feet.

 

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