The Healing of Blind Bartimaeus Mark 10:46-52.
A sermon by theological student in our parish, Oliver Yengi
This passage is in the central part of Marks gospels, it begins with the section where Jesus healed the blind man and predicted his crucifixion that he mentioned three times to the disciples but they could not believe or understand his teaching. In this same section there was a big confusion among the disciples in regards to who is going to be the greatest also the people who gathered there to listen to Jesus teaching were confused too. Most of them could not understand what he was talking about but Jesus reinforced his teachings by explaining and clarifying the issues.
This section alone involved healing, deep teaching which covered a range of issues such as “who the disciple think who he was?”, divorce, the blessing of the children, the rich man plus the request by John and James to sit one on the right and the other on the left in his kingdom. In the first event Jesus restored the sight of the blind man in two stages, (Mk 8:22-26) while in the second part he gives sight to the blind Bartimaeus, (Mk10:46-52), which to me is the conclusion of this section.
Jesus performed many things in this section, and Mark structured it well. It is interesting that he started the section with Jesus healing a blind man and concluded the section also with the healing of the blind Bartimaeus. In my opinion, I could suggest that the healing of the first man possibly reflects the progress of the disciples from blindness to having half sight to full sight afterwards; this could also be reflected in our spiritual journey, thus we grow gradually grow in faith and begin to see things differently . Therefore, our faith make us to change on step by step basis but not just once.
Bartimaeus the blind beggar seems to be well known in that area and he said to be the son of a blind man named Timeus. That is like father like son all blind and made the case worse. When he was sited begging, he heard the crown following Jesus and he cried out in a loud voice to Jesus Christ for mercy; “Have mercy on me O Lord Son of David.” He believed in him and have trust that Jesus will heal him and give him sight that will relieve him from the miserable life.
In coming to Christ for help and healing, we should have an eye on him as promised Messiah, the trustee of mercy and Grace.
Jesus encourages him to hope that he should find mercy: for he stood still and commanded him to be called.
The poor man hereupon made the best of his way to Christ “He cast away his loose upper garment and came to Jesus” and cast away everything that might be in danger of throwing him down or in any way hinder him from coming to Christ or retard his motion.
We as Christians need to throw away things that hinder our way, things that might throw us down. Those who would come to Jesus should cast away garment of their sufficiency.
The particular favor he begged was that his eyes might be opened so that he might be able to work for his living and might no longer be a burdensome to brothers. It is a desirable thing to be in a capacity to earn your our bread. Begging is a shameful thing to do.
Jesus ask him what do you want me to do for you? He answered: My “Teacher Let me see again”
Bartimaeus received his sight because he believed and have faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus Said to him “Go your faith has made you well” when he received his sight he followed Jesus by the way: able to do thing without helper. It is not enough to come to Christ for spiritual healing and when we are done and walk away, we should continue to follow him so that we may do honour to him and receive instruction from him.
That is why we are all here every Sunday, weekdays for bible study, choir practice, and op shop and so on all working together serving God here in Holy Cross.
Those that have spiritual eye-sight see that beauty of Christ that effectually draw them to run after him. Praise be to God that we all included.
How do we together in Holy Cross show that beauty of Christ to others who are out there being, our neighbours, friends at school, work place and so on?
The healing of Bartimaeus could serve as a reminder that many who come in contact with Jesus could ‘see’ but were blind in their hearts; Bartimaeus on the other hand could see through his heart even though he was blinded through eyesight. Jesus ask him what do you want me to do for you. Today Jesus is asking us what we want here in Holy Cross. What will be our Answer?
May his word live in us and bear much fruits to his glory! Amen