Going Viral: Mark 10:46-52

Covid19 has us stuck at home preparing for Easter. But that doesn’t mean the Spirit is stuck. Each day building to Easter I will write a new post about Mark starting with the healing of blind Bartimaeus, (10:46) and going through the end of the gospel. This last week of Jesus’ life is when He stopped hinting at God’s message. Instead he openly turned over the old system and paved the way to the cross and resurrection. I hope you will read along with me. Feel free to comment or contact me directly with thoughts: sean@chandlerbc.org

Blind Bartimaeus — Mark 10:46-52

It feels like the world is falling apart. And in some ways this is true. It is a difficult and scary time. Two week ago I was sleeping in a tent in Haiti. Those were calm days when all I had to worry about was remembering ear plugs for the snoring! Back in the states everything is changing. Closing. And it is hard to see what will happen tomorrow. Hard to see how long it will last.

I am the blind man. And in this moment I need to follow the example of Bartimaeus. Crying out to Jesus. When rebuked, “he shouted all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me.'”

And I have the same request… “‘What do you want me to do for you?’ Jesus asked him. The blind man said, ‘Rabbi, I want to see.'” (v51)

Take a moment and pray verse 51. Imagine Jesus asking you. Imaging replying. Then sit and allow your mind’s eye to see God’s vision.

DEEP DIVE: All the gospel writers wrote with a particular agenda. It was not to get everything in chronological order — unlike us, their lives were not pushed by clock hands. Their agenda was to spread the good news. That is why each gospel’s order of events is a little different. These are NOT mistakes. Instead, their gospel ordering is driven by theological meaning. So when we find a story, we must ask, “why did Mark place that particular story in this particular place?”

This is especially true of the story of blind Bartimaeus and its earlier counterpart in Mark 8:22-26. In chapter 8 it takes Jesus TWO attempts blind man of Bethsaida. The first healing is complete: “‘Do you see anything?’ He looked up and said, ‘I see people; they look like trees walking around'” (8:24).

This leads into two crucial stories. First, Peter declares Jesus to be the Messiah (8:29). Second, Peter refuses to believe Jesus must die and is rebuked, “Get behind me Satan” (8:33).

The disciples could see the mission of Jesus. But they did not see the mission clearly. The blind man of Bethsaida illustrates this truth.

Moving ahead to chapter ten, with the healing of Blind Bartimaeus, the story turns. In this healing Bartimaeus is healed instantly. AND Bartimaeus chooses to follow Jesus into Jerusalem. There, with Holy Week beginning, we will see God’s mission clearly.

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