Harmony of the Gospels

 Saturday, October 27, 2012

Jericho
(38) Blind Bartimaeus Healed
Mark 10:46-52, Luke 18:35-43

 

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.

Jericho which was also called the “City of Palms” was located just a few miles from the Jordan River. The Lord and His disciples had crossed the Jordan and come to Jericho. There He met blind Bartimaeus, a man with a desperate need. Blind men were unable to work, and usually made their living by begging, and Bartimaeus had staked out a good sight on the main road to Jericho.

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.

We are not told how the blind man came to know that Jesus was close by, we can only speculate. Perhaps, he heard strangers talking about a previous miracle where He had healed a man who had been born blind. He hoped to see Him someday, and his only hope was that Jesus would give him his sight as He had the man who was born blind.  And then, he may have heard from passers-by that Jesus was near and headed his way. Bartimaeus somehow recognized Jesus as the Messiah, because he addressed Him as the Son of David. The belief that the Messiah would be a descendent of David was common among the Jews of that day. He believed that this could be his only chance to see again, and he was determined to meet the only one that can make him see again. He had to get Jesus’ attention, so he yelled as loud as he could, “Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.

It was ironical that while the nation of Israel was blind to the presence of the Messiah, a blind Jew had true spiritual sight!

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.

Many in the crowd and perhaps even the disciples attempted to keep the blind man from constantly yelling, “Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.” But, their attempts to silence his annoying cry only made him yell louder. The people were not interested in a beggar, but Jesus was.

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.

When Jesus heard the cry of the blind man He stopped in the middle of the Road and He stood still listening to the cries for mercy. Joshua once ordered the sun to stand still in the heavens, but here the Lord of the sun, and the moon, and the heavens, stands still at the bidding of a blind beggar.

His disciples may have been against Him stopping to help such a lowely person, but our Lord perceived the man’s need and his faith, and commanded them to bring the man to Him.  They took the man by the hand, and as they took him to see Jesus they said, “Cheer up.”

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

Several words in this verse suggest that Bartimaeus’ responded hurriedly to Jesus invitation. He threw off his cloak, jumped up and came to Jesus. This was the opportunity of a lifetime and he would not let it slip away.

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.

His persistent pleas for mercy did not go unanswered. He was face-to-face with the one person in the world that could make him see.

Jesus asked him what he wanted, and without hesitation or explanation, the beggar replied that he wanted his sight. His prayer was short, specific, and full of faith.

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.

His specific prayer for sight brought a specific answer. In reality it was the power of God that healed, but the man’s faith was the channel by which that strength could flow. The man’s faith was revealed by his persistent eagerness, by him recognizing Jesus as the Messiah, and by him calling Jesus, Lord.

His gratitude was expressed in faithful discipleship and glorifying God as he followed Jesus on His last trip to Jerusalem. It must have cheered the heart of the Lord to find faith like this in Jericho as He moved on toward the cross. It was a good thing that Bartimaeus sought the Lord that day because the Savior never passed that way again

We may learn from this incident that we should have the courage to believe God for the impossible. Great faith greatly honors Him. As the poet has written:

Thou art coming to a King,
Large petitions with thee bring;
For His grace and power are such,
None can ever ask too much.
—John Newton

 

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http://teachingsermonsfor pastorsandlaymen.yolasite.com (Sermons and devotions)

http://harmonyofthegospels.yolasite.com (The life of Christ in chronological order)

http://periodofthejudges.yolasite.com (A Bible Study on the Book of Judges)

http://paulsepistletotheromans.com (A Bible Study on the Book of Romans)

http://newtestamentepistles.com (A Bible Study on Titus, Jude, and 1st Corinthians)

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