Title: The Son of David
Text: Mark 10.46-52
Introduction: We’ve reached the end of this section in Mark. We’ll hear a wonderful story this morning and that will bring the ministry movements of Jesus to an end. Chapter 11.1 and following will bring us to the Triumphal Entry and the passion week of Jesus.
Really the timing is perfect. I didn’t plan it this way. I’m grateful God interceded and worked it this way. Next week we’ll enter the Holiday season. So the break is perfect. With the New Year, we’ll pick up the passion week. Maybe. I’m leaning that way, but have some other ideas, too!
Today we’re in Mark 10.46-52. In 10 chapters, Mark has shared with us very little of the three years Christ has walked with his disciples. That’s right: 10 chapters, 3 years. Mark has been intentional. He has written with purpose and direction. Do you remember the melodic line of Mark? 1.1; 1.11; 3.11; 5.7; 8.31; 9.7; 10.45; 15.39
Jesus is the Son of God. He is the Messiah. He is the fulfillment of all OT prophecy. Mark will bring us back to this again in today’s story. I’ve outlined it this way for continuity and flow:
- The Setting
- The Conflict
- The Climax
- The Resolution
Transition: So, let’s open up the story in v 46 where Mark presents the Setting.
I. The Setting: Who, What, When, Where (46)
exp.: rd 46a; 46 And they came to Jericho. Matthew and Luke tell us so much more that happened around here. What comes to mind for me is Zacchaeus – the wee, little man, who climbed up in a sycamore tree. Matthew also tells us that there were two blind men. Here, Mark only tells us of one; rd 46b; Why this little discrepancy? Well, I don’t think it’s a big deal. My guess is that Bartimaeus, or his father Timaeus, became prominent figures in the early church. Mark would have used his name because the early church would have identified them. He does so with Rufus and Alexander.
I think this is good for us. Usually, we just hear of a blind man, or a leper, or a demon possessed man; however, these are real people with real names. If we never saw Mark and only had read Matthew and Luke, we wouldn’t look at this blind man as closely as we do. But this is a reminder that these people are real people – real parents, with real struggles.
We don’t see the other blind man here, but we know of him from the other gospel. What was his name? Who were his parents? What is his story?
We need to remember that when we reach out to help people – they’re real people. Don’t dehumanize them. Don’t belittle them. God is choosing to use you and me to minister into their lives.
app.: As the setting here unfolds we learn the who, what, when, and where of the story.
- Who: Jesus, his disciples, a large crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus.
- What: Jesus is passing by with this large crowd and there is a blind beggar sitting just off the road.
- When & Where: As Jesus is leaving Jericho. Only the cross is now before him. He’ll walk up that long hill – 15 miles or so – and face the cross.
t.s.: that is the setting. Mark will outline for us now the conflict of the story…
II. The Conflict: Bartimaeus can’t reach Jesus (47-50)
exp.: rd v 47; What’s all this commotion? He wouldn’t know, he can’t see. Someone tells him it is Jesus, of Nazareth. Or, maybe he just hears it come from the mouth of someone near.
By his reaction, he knows this moment is fleeting. He knows what Jesus can do – but he hadn’t even imagined that he would be in Jesus’ presence. Or maybe he had dreamed, but never thought it possible. Fantasy, yes, but reality… no. He must have heard the stories – the ones we’ve covered in Mark 1-10. He must have heard the stories that fulfill Isaiah 35.5-6: 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; 6 then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.
(Go through Mark mentioning the stories): He must have heard and He must have believed what he had heard.
Can you imagine the adrenalin rush – the panic not to let this moment pass! He’s been sitting by the road that leads in and out of town. He would hear someone coming by and ask… beg for some help. Suddenly, a large, energetic crowd passes outside the walls and spills into this area where he is sitting. The crowd is noisy. What’s going on? It’s Jesus…of Nazareth! He would have to scream it loud enough to be heard! Kyrie Eleison! A cry of the Psalms: Lord, have mercy on me! Here he cries out “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
So, here’s the conflict:
- The Crowd Separates – he can’t jump up and run over to Jesus – he doesn’t really know where Jesus is within the crowd. He can only cry out. Now, this isn’t on purpose. They’re not trying to be mean to him. These are just the circumstances in which he finds himself. He can’t jump up and walk along with the crowd. He’s blind. So, this 1st Conflict is the crowd separates him from Christ.
Let’s continue reading in v 48: and the crowd, moved with compassion helped the man up and brought him to Jesus. Is that what it says? No! What did they do? rd v 48: they rebuked him and told him to be silent! Here is the 2nd Conflict…
- The Crowd Silences – This is on purpose. They rebuke him and tell him to be silent. Why? I don’t know.
I wonder if this is because there is this beggar on the side of the road. Passing on the road there is the coolest, most popular person in the entire Holy Land. A blind beggar on the side of the road…well, that’s a nuisance. An eyesore. An embarrassment. He’s just sitting there on the side of the road with his cloak across his lap and on the road, so people can put their money in it. I don’t know this, this is just how I’m picturing it.
And they want to silence him. But he isn’t deterred. rd v48b; “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Jesus must hear him. rd v 49a; now why? What was it about the cry that got his attention? I think it was the phrase: Son of David. We’ve not seen this anywhere else in Mark – at least not to this point. We’ll see again in chapter 11.10 at the Triumphal Entry. And, Jesus will bring it up when he stumps the Religious Leaders in 12.35 – during the passion week leading up to the time they kill him. But up to this point – Mark hasn’t used this title.
It is a special title referring to the Messiah. That is the point Jesus makes in 12.35. The Messiah. The Messiah would come and do some very special things. Like what I referred to in Isaiah 35.5-6: 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; 6 then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. But most people are thinking of these statements – they’re thinking of the military ruler who will sit on a throne.
Ill.: I’ve just begun reading a book on prayer. It interested me because this book deals with prayer in the Bible. Right now I’m in the Pentateuch and prayer in the 1st 5 books isn’t praise or worship or really even intercession, but ‘calling upon the name of Yahweh’. Prayer changes in the NT to calling upon the name of Jesus. There is a connection here from Yahweh, the Father to Jesus, the Son. Different, Distinct and yet, the same.
From the beginning, Yahweh has promised to correct what was made wrong in the Fall. Creation – chapter 1; Man – chapter 2; the Fall Chapter 3 – and in the Fall, God promises restoration. As Scripture plays out, we begin to understand this One who will come and make things right will be the Messiah. He will be like his earthly father – that is from his line, his lineage – King David.
My guess is that as Jesus leaves Jericho and begins his first steps up that long incline, those who are thinking of what it will be like at the top of that hill, know nothing of what it will be like – what Jesus knows is going to happen.
Son of David! That’s different. Rd 49a again through 49b: 49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.”
I’m guessing the sound of the crowd died down a bit as they come to a stop and Jesus asks for Bartimaeus.
Look at his response: rd v 50
I don’t know if he used his cloak to collect money. I don’t know if there was even any money in the cloak. But whatever, it didn’t matter. He cast it aside! The only other time this word is used in the NT is in Hebrews 10.35: 35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. You have a picture of someone discarding or casting aside something that is valuable.
app.: But not anymore! Now the only thing that matters is getting to Jesus. There are so many things we have in out lives – that we think we need – until we come to Jesus. And if you’re not a Christian, you won’t get this… But when Jesus calls us, those things lose their value – and they don’t really matter that much anymore.
t.s.: Well, that’s the Conflict – now let’s look at the Climax of the story…
III. The Climax: Jesus heals Bart (51-52a)
exp.: rd v 51a; interesting – this is exactly what he just asked the Sons of Thunder. Their problem was they were asking for prestige and power and position. He isn’t asking anything of the sort. Rd 51b; He just wants to see again. That’s the word used here, to inform us that he wasn’t born this way. Maybe he has cataracts…or, who knows. I only know from this word here that he lost his sight at one point and he wants Jesus to restore it. Rd 52a; And just like that…Jesus heals him. No spittle. No “wash in the pool”. Jesus didn’t put his thumbs over his eyes. He just spoke. And really, it appears that he healed him even before he spoke! Go your way; your faith has made you well.
t.s.: Well, the Resolution is short and sweet…
IV. The Resolution: Bart is healed and follows Christ (51-52a)
exp.: rd 52b; immediately, his sight is recovered and he follows Christ.
ill.: isn’t that what real discipleship is?
For by grace you have been saved through faith…
- Grace – unmerited favor. A gift. Not achieved; Not earned; Not warranted. Just freely given.
- Faith – that element of action on the part of the one who believes. With your mind and with your soul and with your whole heart you know… you just know… and so you act. That’s faith.
And this is not your own doing; it is a gift of God; not by works, so that no man may boast.
t.s.: It is amazing to me how these two work together (Grace and Faith).
Application: So, what will we take home with us today? What have we learned from our lesson?
- God calls us to love real people with mercy and compassion. I love that Mark tells us his name, Bartimaeus. And, that he tells us his daddy’s name. This makes him real for us. He is someone; not to be cast aside or seen as an embarrassment. Remember that: people in need are just that – real people, with real needs. Maybe Christ is bringing that person into your life for a reason. Maybe Christ wants you to stop what your doing – even though it might be really important – and display some mercy and compassion toward that person. I think this takes insight and discernment. Pray for it.
- Jesus is the Messiah of God. I find it interesting that this Blind beggar could see who Jesus really was…Son of David. And yet, many others who had sight were blinded to who he really was. I’m thinking of the rich young ruler and even at how the disciples have been lately – dull. Maybe that is a goal of Mark’s here – to contrast these people and show us that Jesus is the promised Messiah – the Son of David.
- True discipleship is characterized by persistent faith.
- Think of the men who had to dig through a roof to get to Jesus;
- Think of the woman who fought through a crowd to touch the hem of his garment.
- Think of Jairus must continue to believe Christ, even after his friends have come and reported to him that she was gone – no need to trouble the master any longer;
- Think of the father concerned for his son who cries out – help me in my unbelief;
- Think of a blind man who cried out at the top of his lungs, even when he had been repeatedly rebuked and silenced by the crowd.
Invitation: to respond to this grace through your faith