22nd Sunday of Pentecost
Scripture: St. Mark 10:46-52
As Jesus was passing through Jericho on the way out of town with His disciples and a great crowd, things really happened! Jericho was a very special city. The temple that had 20,000 priests. They worked in 26 groups, except at the celebration of the passover, when all 20,000 were on duty because of the great crowds.
At the edge of the city, near its gate, sat a blind beggar asking for alms. His name was Bartimaeus. Hearing the shuffling of many feet, Bartimaeus asked what was going on. He was told that the teacher Jesus was passing by.
He immediately started crying out loud, “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me!” Many around him told him to be quiet and not badger the teacher, and Bartimaeus cried out even louder,
“Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me!”
When he was told that Jesus was calling him, immediately he threw off his coat, jumped up, and headed out to find Jesus. Now this could not have been very easy for him because of his blindness. Would it not be exciting to be a Bartimaeus type of person!
Look briefly with me of the action in this biblical story. There is Bartimaeus’ sheer persistence. He would not allow any one thing to stand in his was to get to Jesus.
He had a desperate desire and that desire in ones life that gets things done. His responded immediately and eagerly when Jesus called him.
Many of us hear and feel the call of Jesus in our lives, yet we don’t immediately respond to his calling. We say, “Not now. Wait until i get this done.”
Soon we forget the calling. But Bartimaeus went to Jesus like a bullet fired from a gun! He had a great need and sensed that this wandering teacher could fulfill it. We often shortchange ourselves of a great blessing when we don’t immediately respond to the nudging of Jesus.
What a blessing Judy and I have had during these last 10 days sharing openly our faith with many who stopped by. In return they shared their faith stories also.
Bartimaeus, while not having an adequate theology of who Jesus was, trusted what he had heard about Him and had faith that He could heal his blindness.
One writer penned these words: “We must ask people the think, but we should not expect them to become theologians before they become Christians.”
Indeed, in Bartimaeus’ situation he trusted his gut feelings about Jesus. When Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do?” he simply said, “I want to see,” and immediately his eyes were open and he followed Jesus.
Our faith response is the key step in walking faithfully with Jesus throughout our lives.
There is no pretraining; we must pick up our pallets and move out! There are no future glimpses of what our future might be if we faithfully respond to Jesus calling; there's only faith and knowledge that if we will follow Him daily, He will faithfully walk daily with us.
In our society today, we have been preprogrammed to want to know the outcome of our actions. In a very short time, we see Jesus on the cross-of calvary, winning eternal life for each one of us that will respond to his love. A faith journey does not tell us what will transpire in our lives, only that Jesus will walk with us regardless of what transpires.
May we all walk in true faith in Jesus love. Amen!