A Desperation-Driven Man

The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), October 22

“Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. And when her heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’” (Mk. 10:46-47)

imagesBlind Bartimaeus has heard plenty of stories about the man from Galilee who healed people and can only dream of having an encounter with Jesus himself. When he hears the noise of the crowd and the news of Jesus’ presence, he shouts so loudly that he makes a real spectacle of himself. Need and desperation have a way of doing that.

Bartimaeus has much to overcome as the crowd warns him to “shut up”:

  • Pride – Bartimaeus makes a spectacle of himself to get Jesus’ attention by shouting even louder, until he holds Jesus’ attention.
  • Passivity – Bartimaeus refuses to sit down and shut up, because returning to a life of begging isn’t an appealing option.
  • Public opinion – Bartimaeus has been ignored by the unkind and uncaring crowd of people.
  • Perseverance – Bartimaeus cries louder and continually until he is heard by Jesus.

Pride, passivity, public opinion, and the lack of persistence prevent many people from coming to Jesus and receiving life from Him.
It’s a good thing Bartimaeus continued his shouting. Little did he know that he would have no other opportunity. This would be the last time Jesus passed through Jericho before His death. And the crowd? They later shouted, “Crucify Him!”

Only eternity will reveal:

  • The vast crowd who were too proud to acknowledge their spiritual blindness and cry out to Jesus for salvation.
  • How many people have given up getting to Jesus because crowds of religious people created a impenetrable barrier to Christ.
  • How many people stop short of receiving from God because they allow the crowd to shut them up.

Be blind or shout out to Jesus. Shamelessly. Desperately.

Questions from today’s chronological Bible reading (Mt. 20:1-34; Mk. 10:32-52; Lk. 18:31-19:27):
How do entertaining wrong expectations and comparing assignments and compensation with others steal joy and belittle grace? (Mt. 20:1-16; Lk. 19:11-27)
What does Jesus teach His followers about service and greatness?
Describe the similarities between the stories of Bartimaeus and Zacchaeus. How does Zacchaeus’ story compare with that of the rich young ruler?