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Go Your Way

SUFFERING KING: THE BOOK OF MARK:
Go Your Way: Mark 10:46-52
Pastor John Weathersby
Sunday November 29, 2020

There is a carefulness to this final healing of Jesus’ in Mark’s gospel. This is it, this is the last person we’ll see Mark record Jesus as having healed of physical ailment before His final miraculous work on the cross.

There are some themes about this that we shouldn’t miss as I believe they follow us into new life – and I believe there is a certain relevance in our culture from the blind man. In what he want’s and how he follows after his physical healing – ‘go our way’, should jump forward from the page.

We’l be encouraged by the example of Bartimeaus to live our lives as followers of Christ and I hope be freshly encouraged through a December Scripture reading project. If you’re ready, let’s go, Mark 10.

Mark 10:46–52 (ESV)

46 And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside.

We’ve noted that the gospels tell similar or same stories from varying perspectives. Other gospel writers focused on more than one blind person here, Mark drills in on one named person. Imagine this story – Pastor John Nicholas tells you a story about going to his favorite all you can eat macaroni and cheese restaurant and talking to a group of people. I tell you about John and I going to a weird restaurant and about how I talked to Dave Demmy there. Is one of us wrong, did someone lie, are we confused on the details – no, we just told if from our perspective.

Mark here does the same, he tells us about Bartimeaus son of Timeaus.

47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

The man cries out saying “Jesus Son of David”. This is no small claim, and perhaps Jericho wasn’t the place to be bull-horning that statement. This is stuff that would get Jesus killed. If the jews and ruling greeks heard Jesus being heralded as the “Son of David” the kingly line that the Messiah would come through it would be chaos and so we read:

48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

They’re right, and they’re wrong – and there is a lesson for us here. To this point John Calvin said: “ it frequently happens that the greater part of those who profess the name of Christ, instead of inviting us to him, rather hinder or delay our approach (Calvin)”. Practically how do we do that? Maybe we hear unbelieving people FAAR from Christ saying things to which the scriptures and revelation about God in Christ have a clear answer, and we withhold it or engage in worldly argumentation rather than bringing the balm of truth…

Calvin went on to say:

Perseverance is therefore necessary to overcome every difficulty, and the more numerous the obstacles are which Satan throws in the way, the more powerfully ought we to be excited to earnestness in prayer, as we see that the blind men redoubled their cry. (Calvin)”

How often are we in prayer for the non-believing people we encounter? What a great reminder this week to take people up as matters of prayer in our day-to-day lives.

49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”

Play this scene in your mind. Visualize what’s happening here – great crowds are passing him by, clamoring likely to get at Jesus. Bartimaeus could tell the tempo and group were greater than normal, undoubtably he asked or overheard that it was Jesus they were following after. Pushing aside any social norm that he should be distant from a Rabbi, or any social norms around his beggar status, Bartimaeus Jesus is the messiah and cries out to the only one who can heal him, with passion and power – he won’t be ignored. Stiffled perhaps by followers; “be quiet” but we read “he cried out” – in a protectingly loud voice, like

Acts 19:32 (ESV)
32 Now some cried out one thing, some another, for the assembly was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had come together.

Revelation 14:15 (ESV)
15 And another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, “Put in your sickle, and reap, for the hour to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.”

And so he cried out and Jesus froze, hearing the passion in his voice and faith in his words “Son of David” – he cried out, not to a teacher not to a good man, he cried out in all faith to the Messiah. And at this Jesu froze, for the last and lasting healing that His disciples and followers would see.

49 b And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.”

Take heart he did. Here we see the actions of faith:

50 And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.”

The blind man springs up, likely walking a path to Christ that he would have known maybe from going to his spot for begging along the way, and path likely that he’s walked for years maybe – in all faith towards the promised Messiah, nothing would stop him.

52 And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.

Go. Your. Way.

Haunting words. His way, was following Christ – that is the culturally relevant question that remains for us in this text. The beggar could have asked for anything in this moment, James and John did… he asked for his sight to be restored.

Not for material wealth or power, just the ability to start freshly and with that fresh start, – the close of this passage, Jesus last miracle closes so quickly – you can see Jesus almost in the same motion as healing turning and pointing back again to Jericho, marching towards the end. And this just recently restored man, perhaps blinking at the now flooding in light – hears this haunting call jumbling through his mind – “go your way”.

What was his faith?

Go. Your. Way.

How about us? Will we be “healed” in the sense of forgiveness of sins Jesus final lasting miracle available to us, but lack in following Jesus way, will we lack in trusting that Christ has brought us final victory?

2 Corinthians 4:8 (ESV)
8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;

Philippians 4:11–13 (ESV)
11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

To this last example, Philippians – this is a book referred to as a “Prison Epistle” meaning a letter he wrote while imprisoned. Let that rattle around in your mind, he wrote about the secret of joy from imprisonment. Paul was writing to the Philippians church about how to be communal and joyful I their lives. And I think that is very relevant to Jesus’ final miracle and very needful in our day.

We don’t have an impermeable joy as Americans. We’re burdened by our work and hold that burden like a trophy – the highest form of Joy and pride as an American is to be over burdened by life. If you could dump our speech into a theme engine, I think busyness would be a top theme.

I’m sorry I didn’t do X I was too busy.
I’m so busy with work I can’t even think.
“how are you, I’m OK I’m just busy – I worked X hours the other day”….

And so on and so on we brag on busyness.

Will we continue to trod through life complaining about all that God hasn’t given us. Tangibly demonstrating that we’re sour to God’s withholding good from us? Will busyness continue to be our trophy or will replace pace of life and crazy devotion to work with the joy of God and knowing the newness of life.

Will we live lives full of the secret of life that Paul demonstrated – a contentment in all circumstances because God is not only great, God is treasure! Our filter for life and world view isn’t CNN or Fox news, the thought on the tip of our tongue isn’t the most recent political happenings, rather it’s the Psalms – written by the psalmist, who drips with encouragement and doting on the reliable goodness of God’s great character and love. Let’s desire to be impacted by God, let’s do that in the scriptures. If you can say that you have a hard time with that; let me encourage you this December as we come up to, and go through Christmas, as we prepare for a new year 2021 – lets take the 31 days of December and read a Proverb a day.

…lets keep at the front of our mind(s) as we read for these 31 days starting Tuesdays December 1 – how will this reading impact “how I follow” and be a root of my joy in Christ celebrating newness, celebrating oneness with God and giving tangible evidence of my followership, like the blind man now able to see responding to Jesus call “go your way” will the reading of the word be the lamp to my feet.

I dont’ know how many of us were together when we studied Psalm 119, and how it would have been used as a teaching aid to teach children the alphabet, and along the way it would press valuable life-giving knowledge about God; look at verse 105:

Psalm 119:105
105  Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.

Let’s approach the Proverbs with that purpose, light to our path, and let’s respond in faith and “go our way” as followers, content in God – glad to praise Him in all seasons and be refreshed by His goodness above all circumstances!

Pray, Observe, Apply.

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