Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study! This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!
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Kendra Graham notes from Mark 10:48
Many were sternly telling him to be quiet, but he kept on all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Many were sternly telling him to be quiet; he kept on more. Son of David have mercy on me.
Bartimaeus was blind, so he lived a life of begging for scraps to stay alive. One day Bartimaeus (we’ll just call him “Bart”) heard with his ears that Jesus was walking through Jericho. There sat Bart, begging at the back gate as people left the city on their way to Passover in Jerusalem. Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem as well—to the Last Supper and to Lazarus, who had been dead a few days.
Suddenly Bart began to yell, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:47). The crowd did not like this, because they could not hear the teaching of Jesus; all they could hear was the shrieking of an unimportant, forgettable blind man. Oh how they wished Bart would pipe down! They pressured him to stop; he did not. The crowd continued all the more to pressure Bart to quiet, but he refused.
What was blind Bart saying? I argue the reason Jesus even went through Jericho—and not around the Jericho bypass (especially with Passover looming)—was because blind Bart was the message. Jesus went through Jericho for two reasons: First, to gather a crowd to hear Bart’s message; and second, to heal Bart. Bart was saying, “Jesus, Son of David.” This was a BIG deal. Bart was telling the Jewish crowd on their way to Passover that Jesus was the Messiah. This very statement would be what the Sanhedrin would use to crucify Jesus in the next week or so. This was a BOLD message, and Bart was preaching this message in his darkness. The crowd bullied him to stop. Yet Jesus didn’t stop Bart’s message, nor did He stop the crowd from pressuring him. Did you ever think about that? Jesus allowed Bart to be bullied into shutting his mouth. What would Bart do? Why would Jesus allow that?
Last week we noted that when God delivered Israel out from under the thumb of Pharaoh, He led them to the desert. Why? Deuteronomy 8:2 gives us the reason: “To test them to see what was in their hearts.” So God would know what was in their hearts? NO—so that Israel would know what was in their hearts. Marah—bitterness—was in their hearts, and God needed to deal with it. What was in Bart’s heart? A message of hope.
“Have mercy on me!” Bart had the hope of healing because he knew who Jesus was. Even if Bart had not been healed, it would not have changed the fact that Jesus is Messiah. Even if Jesus ignored him, even if Jesus walked by or would not defend him in a crowd that was yelling at him, Bart’s message did not waver and did not change.
What would make your message waver and change? Bart would preach Jesus Messiah. Bart was the message. Perhaps Bart begged often in the courts of Jericho’s synagogue, hearing the teachings of the Torah and scrolls of the prophets. With his keen sense of hearing, Bart connected the dots of Messiah better than those who had seen Jesus do countless miracles.
Bart, being blind, knew his own desperation and need for Jesus. When Jesus walked by, Bart’s message could not be taken from him. In his darkness, in his blindness, in his pain, Bart preached until he was heard. Tested in his heart, and in spite of being ignored by Jesus and bullied by the crowd, Bart continued to preach Jesus Messiah. He continued to plead for mercy until he received it.
Jesus stopped (verse 49). Bart’s faith stopped Jesus in His tracks.
Then Jesus, through the crowd beckoned Bart to him. Cruel? Seriously. Think about it. The crowd is mad and annoyed at Bart. Jesus is not right beside him, obviously, because He “beckons” him to come (49). Bart is blind, and Jesus is asking him to weave through a crowd?
I love that it doesn’t matter to Bart. BOLD Bart gets up, leaves everything he owns in the world, and takes that first step. I’ll bet there was help after that first step was taken. It’s the first one that seems so daunting, so impossible–so cruel even. But God will make a way when there is no way. Bart believed this. Jesus did not promise Bart healing; Jesus only called to him. Yet Bart left everything just to be in the presence of Messiah, knowing Jesus would take care of the rest. What faith! Blindness in the end is not what Bart is known for; we remember him today for his BOLD belief.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME?
When have we been tested to know what is in our hearts? Did we press into belief, or raise our fists in “Marah”?
What has caused our message of Jesus to waver and change? Culture? Pressure for tolerance? Scientific data?
How is our belief known to the world around us?
LIVE IT OUT:
Lord, open my ears to hear your message of Truth to me, then open my mouth to make known with BOLDNESS the mystery of the Gospel. (Ephesians 6:19, NASB)
P.S. Ladies, our in-person Winter Women’s Bible Study at The Cove is now underway, and it’s not too late to join us! Let’s get together Tuesday evenings in January and February and dig into the Word of God. Register online today.