Friday, July 17, 2009

He Followed Jesus

Genesis 32:22-32; Mark 10:46-52 / Jeremiah 23:1-8

I. Bartimaeus Needed Help

A. On the Jericho road Jesus encountered a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus. “And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.” (Mark 10:46)

1. People went up to Jerusalem for Passover; Jesus had been promising to do this. These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’s Passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.” (Leviticus 23:4-8)

2. Jericho was the first part of the holy land liberated for the people of God and was an excellent place to start the final week of liberating the church; Christ’s victory over sin and death began in this place with a strange man, just as the earlier liberation began in this place with a strange woman. “And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, Behold, there came men in hither to night of the children of Israel to search out the country. And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men that are come to thee, which are entered into thine house: for they be come to search out all the country. And the woman took the two men, and hid them, and said thus, There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were: And it came to pass about the time of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out: whither the men went I wot not: pursue after them quickly; for ye shall overtake them.” (Joshua 2:2-5)

3. Giving sight to the blind would be one of the identifying markers of the Messiah. “And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.” (Isaiah 29:18)

B. Bartimaeus knew about Jesus and was confident enough in Him to call for help. “And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.” (Mark 10:47)

C. Bartimaeus was acknowledging the messianic hope of God’s people. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)

D. All of history came to bear on the unfolding events leading to Passover in Jerusalem. “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” (Matthew 1:1)

II. Jesus Helped

A. People kept trying to keep Bartimaeus from making a nuisance of himself, but the blind man persisted and increased his efforts. “And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.” (Mark 10:48)

B. When the man called out to Him, Jesus sent people to get Bartimaeus. “And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.” (Mark 10:49)

C. The blind man obeyed immediately; that is what Jesus expects of His people. “And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.” (Mark 10:50) “And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.” (Matthew 4:20)

D. Jesus told the man to be specific, not for His own benefit but for the petitioner’s benefit; God knows the answer before the question is asked. “And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.” (Mark 10:51) “Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” (Matthew 6:8)

III. Bartimaeus Followed Jesus

A. Jesus healed the man, and the man followed Jesus.“And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.” (Mark 10:52)

B. When it pleases God, matters are already settled. “For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.” (Psalm 33:9)

C. People who give up the disaster of their lives and follow Jesus will find new meaning and purpose in life. “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19)

D. The blind man gave up begging and became part of the King’s own family. “And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.” (Mark 10:29-31)

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