Text: Mark 10:46-52

Sunday October 24, 2021 (Pentecost 22)

Trinity – Creston/Mount Ayr

Grace, mercy, and peace is yours from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Our text for this 22nd t Sunday after Pentecost is the NT lesson from Mark 10 that was just proclaimed.

Let Us Pray: Dearest Jesus, send your Holy Spirit to open our eyes to the truth of our sinful state to bring repentance thus opening our eyes to your amazing grace. Amen

Dear Fellow Redeemed in Christ:

As if telling us about Jesus healing a blind man isn’t enough!

In our text today, Mark does tell us about Jesus working a marvelous act of love, restoring sight, for a man in need—even a man we can feel we know, because Mark tells us his name, Bartimaeus. A wonderful miracle! Surely a story worth telling in itself.

But the fact is, Mark’s account of Jesus healing this blind man quite significantly bookends with another story Mark tells, the story of Christ previously restoring sight to a different blind man.

And the two stories are more than just doubling up a good thing. Both the subtle differences and, especially, what happens between the two miracles help us understand more clearly what it means to be a disciple of Jesus, help us see that

The True Disciple Is the Blind Beggar

Who, by Jesus’ Mercy, Follows in His Way.

I. The true disciple was always first a blind beggar.

A. It’s no surprise that Mark would report two healings of blind men (v 46; 8:22-26).

1. Blindness is one evidence of the fallen creation that Old Testament prophets report again and again.

2. Restoring sight to the blind, therefore, is among the most prominent signs of the coming of the Messiah. Isaiah lists it first (Is 35:5). “The eyes of the blind shall be opened.”

3. It makes sense that Mark would feature it.

B. But by pairing Jesus’ healing of Bartimaeus with his earlier healing of a blind man, Mark is also directing us to a different kind and eternally dangerous blindness as a spiritual metaphor.

1. Just before the earlier healing, the disciples had demonstrated an amazing lack of understanding about Jesus feeding five thousand and then four thousand.

2. And Jesus had asked them, “Although you have eyes, do you not see?” (8:18).

3. How often might Jesus ask us the same? We complain or fall into despair.

a. “This something I enjoy. Although it breaks God’s commandments, what can it hurt?”

b. “You don’t look like much of a king, Jesus. I need someone who can help me and solve my problems now!”

c. “Why am I sick and struggling if you have the power to heal me , Jesus?”

d. “I done some bad things and hurt so many.” There’s no possible God loves me or that I’m going to heaven.”

C. Not only Bartimaeus, then, but also Jesus’ disciples and each of us can only beg for his mercy.

1. Bartimaeus recognized this (vv 47–48). “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

2. Do we realize we were also blind beggars? Do we see ourselves as people who need God’s mercy?

II. But Jesus’ mercy on the blind beggar restores sight.

A. Jesus as the Messiah delights to extend God’s mercy (vv 49–52).

1. Mercy was the basic plea of God’s people in the Old Testament (e.g., Ps 86:15–16). “Lord have mercy!”

2. Jesus calls Bartimaeus and immediately his sight is restored.

B. Again, though, Mark suggests more. There’s again that matter of spiritual sight.

1. In the earlier miracle, the blind man was healed in two stages. When Jesus first acted, the man could see only vaguely, without clarity; clear vision came only with Jesus’ second touch. This time, Bartimaeus sees clearly immediately.

2. Mark is suggesting that, metaphorically, clear vision was impossible before (remember the disciples’ blindness) but now would be possible.

3. The difference? Between the two healings, Jesus has three times predicted his Passion and resurrection (8:31; 9:31; 10:33–34). “The Son of Man must suffer many things, be rejected and die.” “Son of man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him and rise after 3 days”.

4. Mark is telling us that the coming of God’s kingdom in Christ can only be seen clearly in light of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

C. This is the sight Christ wants us to gain—to see that God’s kingdom has come in him.

1. It’s what Bartimaeus has seen when Jesus says, “Your faith has healed (or saved) you” (v 52a).

2. We also see clearly when we believe that Jesus’ death on the cross has saved and healed us.

III. And the one who, now seeing, follows in Jesus’ way—that is the Lord’s true disciple (v 52b).

A. Jesus’ two healings of blind men have enabled us to see what true discipleship is like.

1. It is exemplified by the beggar, who can offer nothing but can only receive.

2. It will mean carrying a cross as Jesus will carry a cross. “If someone desires to really follow after me, let him deny himself, and let him take up his cross, and let him proceed to follow me” (8:34).

B. A true disciple then follows Jesus in this very way.

1. Bartimaeus, the beggar, immediately follows Jesus on the way that will lead to Jerusalem and Jesus’ death.

2. The rich man in last weeks Gospel does not see spiritually. He goes away sad because he will lose his wealth and possesions.

3. As true disciples, we will also follow Jesus as beggars, dependent on his mercy, on the road that will lead to our own sufferings.

a. We are ignored or made fun of for resisting sinful things or not carrying out a job requirement because it is contrary to God’s Word.

b. We may lose our job for what we believe and confess about Jesus.

c. We may be accused of being bigots or hateful for maintaining God’s design for marriage or speaking up for the unborn.

4. But following Jesus to his cross will also lead us on the way to resurrection under his gracious, eternal reign and rule.

We will suffer hardship for being faithful to the truth of God’s Word but it will pale in comparison to joy we will experience forever in our heavenly home.

Conclusion: Jesus wants no one to miss seeing that—and Mark, under the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, gives us what it takes to open our eyes. Amen.

The peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus unto life everlasting. Amen.