I had the great privilege of teaching on Mark 10:46-52 to the students at Taylor’s Valley Baptist Church. This is a fascinating passage that I thought I would share here.
46 And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” 50 And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.Mk 10:46–52
This passage begins with Jesus leaving out from Jericho. As He is going on His way with the disciples. Out of the crowd on the side of the road a blind man calls out to Him (vs 47). He calls Jesus the Son of David an important element to keep in mind. The blind man is also named something we don’t see in any of the other miraculous healings in the Synoptic Gospels.
We can learn much about the character of God as we watch Jesus (Rev 19:10). In this passage there are two actions we must take before God, cry out in humility and follow.
Cry out in Humility
This blind man, Bartimaeus, calls out to Jesus from the side of the road. The crowd shushed Bartimaeus which makes him cry out all the more. He cries out; “Jesus Son of David have mercy on me.” Jesus stops and calls Bartimaeus to Him and asks him this question; “What do you want me to do for you?” (vs. 50)
Jesus asked this same question to James and John in verse 36. James and John came to Jesus in a completely different manner. They asked Jesus to sit on His right and left in glory, that is positions of authority. It is no coincidence that Mark wrote about James and John asking the same question before the healing of Bartimaeus.
Back in verse 51 Bartimaeus asks to have his sight back. The word he uses to address Jesus is Rabboni, often translated into the English as Rabbi or Lord or teacher, rabbouni in extant Jewish literature was used in addressing God in prayer.
Bartimaeus cries out in complete humility to God. He does not ask for riches or authority. He only asks to be made well.
Jesus heals Bartimaeus who now follows Jesus on the road. Which might be a way of indicating that Bartimaeus became a disciple. After Jesus brings Bartimaeus near and asks him the question. Jesus heals Bartimaeus, this healing is a restoration takes a man who is naturally helpless in many ways in the ancient near east. 2 Sam 5:6, Isa 35:5-6 and more describe the blind as examples of the exploited. 2 Sam 5:8 indicates that the blind and lame cannot enter into the temple.
Jesus enters into this helplessness and exploitability and brings them to Him. Do not miss this, people that are often described as sinners or children of sinners (John 9:2), are considered outcasts or even a sub-class of person.
Have you ever felt like your sin was too great to endure? Have you ever felt like an outcast or helpless?
This man did and Jesus brought him near and saved him. Jesus healed a man that even the crowd told to pipe down. The same offer of mercy is extended to you, cry out to Jesus and follow Him for He has the words of life. (John 14:6)
You are never too far gone for Jesus. Come and be part of the family of God.