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Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Today’s Reading | Mark 10:46–52
They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.” So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way. (NRSV)
When I read Bible stories, I like to imagine being in the story, to imagine what I’d think or feel if I were there. Especially our reading today from Mark 10 where Jesus asks Bartimaeus, the beggar who is blind, “What do you want me to do for you?”
My response, and I imagine the response of many gathered in this story, was probably why did Jesus ask him what he wanted him to do? Clearly Bartimaeus is blind. Doesn’t Jesus know this?
I think Jesus knew, but he is doing something more in this moment. Jesus responds to Bartimaeus’s request for sight by saying, “Go, your faith has healed you.” Yes, Bartimaeus lacked sight, but he did not lack faith, and Jesus wants the surrounding crowd to know this.
I have the reverse problem of Bartimaeus. I have sight but little faith in Jesus. Instead, I think that another gin and tonic is going to ease my mind or I would matter more if I had the power and prestige of the people on television or . . . I am hungry for life, and yet I look for the temporary things to give me life—the things that cannot give life.
Today it is good for me to enter the story as Bartimaeus and to allow myself to be needy and hear the words from Jesus: “Daniel, what do you want me to do for you?” “Jesus, I want to see with eyes of faith, like Bartimaeus, I want to recognize that you are the life giver and that to follow you is to truly see and live.”
Dear God, help me to have eyes of faith. I confess that often I am led and tempted by lies. Help me instead to look to your Son for life. Realign my eyes to be focused on Jesus. Amen.
Written by Daniel Holladay, Senior High Youth Coordinator
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