Saturday, March 02, 2013
Then they came to Jericho. And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, a son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside.
And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, saying, Jesus, Son of David, have pity and mercy on me [now]!
And many severely censured and reproved him, telling him to keep still, but he kept on shouting out all the more, You Son of David, have pity and mercy on me [now]!
And Jesus stopped and said, Call him. And they called the blind man, telling him, Take courage! Get up! He is calling you.
And throwing off his outer garment, he leaped up and came to Jesus.
And Jesus said to him, What do you want Me to do for you? And the blind man said to Him, Master, let me receive my sight.
And Jesus said to him, Go your way; your faith has healed you. And at once he received his sight and accompanied Jesus on the road.
Mark 10:46-52 (AMP)
I love this passage of Scripture. It reminds me that Jesus wants us to throw off that which hinders us in our walk with Him. The beggar had faith strong enough to cause him to shout over the others who would have ignored him. This beggar was blind and he wanted to see.
When Jesus told the crowd, "Call him," He wanted to heal him. Yes. But He also wanted to demonstrate what faith can do. This man was healed instantly by word while another blind man in the Bible received sight only after Jesus spit in the dirt to make mud, applying it on his eyes. (Mark 8:23)
The bigger picture, however, is that the blind beggar, after Jesus called him, leaped up and came to Jesus - and he did so after "throwing off his outer garment". Bible scholars tell us that in the culture of that day, a blind man would lay his cloak onto the ground before him and beg for money, which passersby would throw onto the cloak. At the end of the day, if the man were fortunate, he would have received enough money to get by. This beggar in Mark chapter 10 threw off his cloak, demonstrating that he would no longer need to beg.
I think that the throwing off of the cloak is a good picture for us today. Had the man carefully laid his cloak aside, he would have shown that his faith was very small, if there at all. It would have been his "safety net" in case the healing didn't happen to stay around and he went back to being blind.
The man, however, left the cloak and followed Jesus. Isn't that what we're called to do? Shouldn't we throw off that which would hinder our walk with Christ (disbelief, material goods, safety nets, etc.)?
Something to think about.