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Friday, April 11, 2014
Scripture 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)
Recently, I was sitting with someone who told me they did not feel close to God. I told them I often feel that way too. They proceeded to ask what to do. I gave some advice, but I wish I had said, “Read the Bartimaeus story, the story of a blind beggar brought near.”
If Bartimaeus hadn’t been told that Jesus was walking by, he wouldn’t have known it: because of his blindness he was unable to see Jesus in his life.
The good news for Bartimaeus is that someone told him Jesus was passing by. Of course, Bartimaeus still cannot see where Jesus is, but the report streetside is that he is close, and so Bartimaeus, out of his desperate need and pain, cries out, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And as often happens when people display their desperation, Bartimaeus is told to quiet down. But Bartimaues has a need and wants to be changed, and so all the more he raises his voice for Jesus to work in his life. And this beautiful moment happens: Jesus, walking out of the city and away from Bartimaeus, stops, and the blind beggar hears these life-changing words: “Take heart, get up; he is calling you.”
Friends, what do you want today? Do you want to be transformed by our loving and healing God? If so, we must remember that Jesus came for the sick and the needy ones. If we want to be transformed by God and walk in communion with the divine life-giving Trinity we must admit that left to ourselves we are blind and poor. But when we hold up our neediness and pain, asking God to work, there is good news: “Take heart, get up; he is calling you.”
Loving Father, have mercy on me! Amen.
Written by Daniel Holladay, Senior High Youth Coordinator
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