The Heart of Jesus Toward Those of Humble Faith - Mark 10:46-52
The celebration of Easter is often a peak for us as followers of Jesus. We come together to remember and celebrate the sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf and to confess our trust in His finished work. But now, a week later, the reality is that many of us have been reminded of the temptations and difficulties of everyday life, and if we aren’t careful we can all to quickly forget the power, love and mercy of Christ that is available to us.
This morning as we return to the Gospel of Mark we come to a reminder of the heart of Christ toward all those who come to Him in humble faith. In Mark 10:46-52 we see the power of Jesus and also His compassion toward those who are poor and hurting. This is our hope: that we have a God who cares about the difficulties of our lives and who responds to all those who come to Him in faith.
The Situation (10:46)
- The journey to Jerusalem – Throughout Mark 10 we are following Jesus as He is on His way toward Jerusalem and toward the cross. As he leaves Jericho He is about a day’s journey away. He is moving with purpose toward the cross and yet He is willingly stopped by the cries of a man in need.
- A blind beggar –During this time the blind, deaf and lame were often disregarded. It was a common belief that their disabilities were signs of God’s judgment and as a result they were treated as outcasts. Bartimaeus is a man who many ignored or considered insignificant – a blind beggar who sat beside the road and nothing more.
The Humble Faith of Bartimaeus (10:47-48)
- A declaration of faith – As a crowd passes by Bartimaeus learns that the crowd is following Jesus. And the cry of Bartimaeus reveals that this blind beggar knows who Jesus is and what Jesus can do.
- The Son of David –Bartimaeus’s confession of Jesus as the Son of David is more than an acknowledgment of lineage. Bartimaeus is confessing his belief that Jesus is the One who will fulfill the promises that God made to David. He believes that Jesus is the Messiah.
- The giver of mercy –When Bartimaeus asks for mercy he is asking Jesus to do something that only God can do. His cry is evidence that he believes that Jesus has the power and authority of God.
- Application –We are often slow to go to God with our burdens. Often our slowness is a sign of our forgetfulness: We forget who God is and what He is able (and willing) to do for those who come to Him in faith.
- Faith in the midst of opposition –While the crowds attempt to silence Bartimaeus, His faith is undeterred. Here too we are reminded that Jesus invites the lowly and forgotten to come to Him in faith (Mark 10:13-15).
The Heart of Jesus Toward a Cry For Help (10:49)
- Jesus stopped – Jesus was on His way to the cross. No one in the crowd would have faulted Him for ignoring the cry of this blind beggar, and yet when Jesus heard the cry He stopped (Mark 10:43-45). Jesus hears those who cry to Him and responds (Hebrews 4:15-16).
A Confident and Humble Faith (10:50-52)
- Going to Jesus – When Jesus called, Bartimaeus did not hesitate – he left all hindrances aside and went to Jesus. In contrast to the disciples who came to Jesus with proud hearts (Mark 10:35-37), Bartimaeus comes in humble faith.
- His healing –Because of his faith, Jesus healed Bartimaeus physically and spiritually. Mark’s language reveals that Jesus took away the blindness of His eyes and of His heart.
- The response of faith – After being healed Bartimaeus responds in the way all who are changed by Jesus should respond – he became a disciple – he followed Jesus. The story begins with Bartimaeus as a beggar beside the road and ends with him as a disciple on the road.
Summary– The story of Jesus healing Bartimaeus is an example of the call of Jesus to care for the lowly and the outcast. It’s an example of humble and confident faith in Jesus. It’s an example of the power of Jesus to heal and to save. But above all this story helps us see the heart of Christ. That He hears the cries of those who call out to Him and responds with mercy and grace. After this account Jesus continues to Jerusalem where He will lay down His life as a sacrifice. It is because of His death and resurrection that Jesus is able to save all who come to Him in humble faith (Isaiah 55:1-13).