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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Blind Bartimaeus and Caring What Others Think (Mark 10:46-47)

"Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus) was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" (Mark 10:46-47)

Blind Bartimaeus heard plenty of stories about this man from Galilee who healed people and only dreamed of having an encounter with Jesus. So, when he hears the noise of the crowd and the news of Jesus' presence he shouted so loudly that he made a real spectacle of himself. Need has a way of doing that.

Bartimaeus had a lot to overcome as the crowd warned him to "shut up":
  • Pride (willing to make a spectacle of himself to get Jesus' attention by shouting even louder)
  • Passivity (easier just to sit down, shut up and resume a life of begging)
  • Public opinion (ignore the unkind and uncaring crowd of people)
  • Persistence (unwilling to be way-laid in his mission by anyone or anything)
Pride, passivity, public opinion, and persistence keep a lot of people from coming to Jesus and receiving life from Him. Our lives drastically change when we care no longer what others think of us in our pursuit of Christ.

It's a good thing Bartimaeus continued his shouting. Little did he know that there would be no other opportunity. This would be the last time Jesus passed through Jericho. And the crowd? They later shouted, "Crucify Him!" 

Only eternity will show how many others gave up getting to Jesus because they couldn't get through that crowd (or any other crowd of people). Only eternity will reveal how many people today stop short of receiving from God because they allow the crowd to shut them up. Who cares what they say or think! 

Be blind or shout out to Jesus. Shamelessly. 

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
John 11:17-57
  • What truth does Jesus establish about Himself in this narrative and how does He illustrate this truth?
  • What does Martha confess about Jesus? (Peter is the only other person recorded who makes the same confession. She has come a long way since the argument over her sister's lack of household assistance)
  • How do the Pharisees respond to the resurrection of Lazarus? What are they most concerned about?
  • What does Caiaphas understand about Jesus and His death?
Mark 10:32-45; Matthew 20:17-28; Luke 18:31-34
  • What do the disciples think will take place in Jerusalem? What are they most concerned about?
  • Why do they respond to James and John with indignation?
  • What type of leadership does Jesus model, teach, and expect from His followers?
  • What is the source of selfish ambition (James 3:14-16)?
Mark 10:46-52; Matthew 20:29-34; Luke 18:35-43
  • How does Bartimaeus exhibit faith?
  • What does it cost him to act in faith? (See John 5:44)
  • What does he have to get beyond to get to Jesus?
  • How does the crowd view Bartimaeus? What does this tell you about people?
Turning truth into prayer
Ask the Lord to reveal and cleanse your impure motives. Ask Him to show you where you use the kingdom of God to find personal greatness.