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Mark 10:46-52

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

Blindness That Sees

If we have faith, we will keep our eyes on Jesus

In today’s passage, we encounter a man named Bartimaeus who was completely blind. However, though He was physically blind, he had 20/20 spiritual vision (Genuine Faith). Maybe you do not know Christ as Savior – I pray that He’ll give you the capacity, by His grace, to exercise faith to repent and believe. (1 John 5:4, NLT) “For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.”

For believers, we’re all learning how to follow Him; how to trust Him. Faith in Jesus should transform how we think. Faith in Christ should change what we believe, our faith should impact how we feel. Our faith should change what we do. God uses our faith to shape us for His glory. Faith is one of the key subjects in the Bible, and God wants us to understand faith and what believing in Him really means.

(v.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.

Occasionally, Jesus would use blindness as an object lesson to illustrate spiritual blindness or spiritual ignorance. Without Christ, we are spiritually blind, living in darkness. He had a hard life. He was poor. He was a blind man who lived and existed among the poor beggars. Without Christ, we are beggarsbefore God we are poor and needy. We are desperate and in need of His rescue. Bartimaeus was a blind beggar whose encounter with Jesus illustrates important truths about genuine faith.

GENUINE FAITH SEES JESUS AS SAVIOR (v.47-48)

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

Admitting one’s helplessness precedes seeing Jesus. Genuine faith acknowledges HELPLESSNESS. Bartimaeus represents all non-believers before the saving power of Jesus. He was convinced Jesus was the Messiah, that Jesus could heal him, and that Jesus could offer true mercy. The eyes of his heart saw Jesus clearly. His faith could see Jesus even though his eyes could not.

Even though he was blind he could see hope, healing, mercy, forgiveness, and a new life in Jesus. The reason the blind man could see this is because of his faith in who Jesus was. And that is what genuine faith does – it sees Jesus.

GENUINE FAITH PERSISTS FOR TRUTH (v.47-48)

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!” And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”  And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.”  And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus.

He is screaming this over and over again. He can’t see Jesus because he is blind. And maybe he can’t hear Jesus because of the noise of the large crowd. He may not know if Jesus is directly in front of him, down the road approaching him, or maybe Jesus has already passed him by. They started shouting back at him “Be quiet!”, But Bartimaeus didn’t listen. He kept shouting for Jesus. Bartimaeus knew that he desperately needed what only Jesus offered. And no one was going to be an obstruction to what he knew he needed.

For Bartimaeus, he was so deeply aware of his desperate and urgent need for Jesus that he was not going to let anyone stop him. What we really need in life, only Jesus can give us. We need to persist for the truth!

GENUINE FAITH ABANDONS ALL TO FOLLOW CHRIST (v.50)

And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus.

In his eager faith, he threw his beggar’s coat aside, and that coat was probably the only thing he possessed. He didn’t have much, but whatever he did have, he was willing to leave it behind. The cloak represented his life of blindness and begging. For Him this was a symbolic act of abandoning the old life and embracing the new life with Jesus.

Is our faith in Christ calling us to leave something behind? Is there something we need to let go of in order to follow Jesus faithfully where He wants to lead us? Faith is willing to let things go.

GENUINE FAITH PERSONALIZES BELIEF (v.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.”

He calls Him “LORD.” He calls Jesus “my Rabbi”, “my Master”, “my Lord,” He was demonstrating a personal faith in Jesus. For Bartimaeus, Jesus was his Rabbi, his Master, his Lord. That’s what faith does, it makes Jesus personal.

GENUINE FAITH BRINGS COMPLETE HEALING (v.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.

The faith of the blind man saved him because it was a specific kind of faith. It was faith that was determined to reach Jesus; it was faith that knew who Jesus was. It was faith that came humbly to Jesus; it was faith that humbly submitted to Jesus. It was faith that could tell Jesus what it wanted. There was something deeper happening here beyond physical healing. Jesus was saying “Your faith in Me has healed you, has saved you, has rescued you. What has happened physically to you, has also happened spiritually to you.” 

Bartimaeus was saved from his blindness, but he was also saved from his sin. – Faith saves. Faith rescues us from spiritual darkness. Faith in Christ saves. We are not saved by being good, being baptized, or by praying the sinner’s prayer; by faith we are rescued from our spiritual darkness.

GENUINE FAITH FOLLOWS CHRIST (v.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.

We already learned (v.50) that in his eager faith, Bartimaeus threw his beggar’s coat aside, and abandoned all to follow Christ. He made Jesus’ way his own way and was a follower of Him. Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus: Now healed and saved, blind Bartimaeus then followed Jesus. This was especially significant when we consider where Jesus was going at this time – to Jerusalem where a cross waited for Him.

Bartimaeus wanted to be near to One who had healed him and had saved him. That’s the way it is with genuine, saving faith. The one rescued wants to stay/remain/abide with the Rescuer.

When faith is genuine:

    • There will be a desire for the things of God.
    • There will be a desire to walk with the Lord in holiness.
    • There will be a desire to be around other Christians.
    • There will be a desire to want to be a part of a local body.
    • When Jesus saves, He makes us alive in Him.

(Mark 10:52) 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.

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