Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!

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A Faith Still There

Reading: Mark 10: 46-52

Verse 46: “As Jesus and His disciples… were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus, was sitting by the roadside begging”.

As Jesus is beginning His last journey to Jerusalem, He encounters a blind beggar named Bartimaeus. In Jesus’ day, the term ‘blind beggar’ would maybe seem redundant. Almost all who were blind or lame or deaf or otherwise disabled had to beg to survive. There were no social services in Jewish society, no places that cared for those with a disability. Yes, the Jews had a place in their hearts for the orphan and the widow, but not for people like Bartimaeus.

Bartimaeus’ life would be lonely and hard. His blindness would carry the stigma of sin and, with that, he would be shunned and ignored. Life would be lived on the fringes of society, survival dependant on what folks who passed by on the street would give to this man. The regular passersby would quickly grow accustomed to the man always there begging. These people would quickly become like the many in cities today who walk right past the homeless as if they were not even there. After a while the emotional weight of this would be greater that the affects of the physical disability itself.

When people are ignored, intentionally passed by, it affects how they feel inside. Questions of worth begin to mount. Anger against those who just pass by builds. It would be easy to question God and to become bitter towards God. It would’ve been understandable for Bartimaeus to disconnect from God. But he does not. His faith is still there. And Jesus is on the way.

Lord, help me to see those on the fringes. Continue to create in me a heart that sees and responds. Build up the Holy Spirit in me so that the voice is loud and the nudge is strong. Give me a soul that cares as you care, that loves as you love. Amen.

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“Son of David, have mercy on me!”  That was blind Bartimaeus’ call that day as Jesus was passing by.  We do not know if he was in his usual spot to beg or if Bartimaeus was there on purpose.  If so, we can assume he needed help getting there.  We can also assume that Bartimaeus knew that Jesus could heal him.  But first he must gain an audience with Jesus so he calls out as he senses Jesus drawing near.  When he is rebuked and told to be quiet, Bartimaeus shouts all the more.

At times we are in Bartimaeus’ position.  Maybe we are not physically blind but we maybe have a physical need or maybe we need a relationship healed or maybe we need a situation fixed.  Although Jesus is not physically present to us today, we often will cry out to Him.  And we can do so at any time because Jesus is always present to us!

Bartimaeus was bold in his request.  He made enough of a commotion to be heard and for Jesus to stop and call for him.  Then he told Jesus his desire: to see again.  Bartimaeus had enough faith in Jesus already to believe that He could restore his sight.  He was persistent enough to get Jesus’ attention.  Jesus probably knew all of this before He called for Bartimaeus.  After being healed, Bartimaeus joined in and followed Jesus down the road.  Jesus probably knew that this would happen too.

When we call out to Jesus, do we too expect that He will give us an audience?  Do we truly believe that He can do what we are asking?  Jesus will respond according to the will of the Father.  He is faithful and true.  He hears all of our prayers and callings.  We simple need to continue to do what He calls us to do: come.

Scripture reference: Mark 10: 46-52