"SIGHT FOR THE BLIND"
I. THE STORY OF BARTIMAEUS.
A. We are told of Bartimaeus that he was blind, and that he was a beggar.
B. And as Jesus had went out from Jericho.
1. Luke tells us that He was coming near to Jericho.
2. There were two Jerichos, an upper and a lower. The sites have recently been uncovered, and they have found that Herod had built a winter palace in upper Jericho replete with a large swimming pool, and gymnasium.
3. He had passed through the lower Jericho and was now approaching the upper Jericho.
C. We are told that there were a great multitude of people going along with Jesus.
1. Bartimaeus hearing the multitude, asked what was the meaning of so many people passing by, and he was told that it was because of Jesus of Nazareth.
2. He then began to cry out, "Jesus, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me."
a. Son of David was a Messianic title.
b. They all knew of the promise of God to David that the Messiah would come through his line.
c. Son of David speaks of His reigning on the throne of David.
d. Jesus is on His way up to Jerusalem, where in a few days He is going give His life to redeem men from sin.
e. The only crown He will receive is the crown of thorns.
3. Bartimaeus had no doubt heard of many blind people that Jesus had healed and he saw this as his chance.
a. One of the prophecies of the Kingdom age was that the eyes of the blind would be opened
And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
b. Jesus in opening the eyes of the blind, was demonstrating the powers and works of the Messiah.
c. Thus as Bartimaeus calls, Son of David, he is acknowledging that Jesus is the Messiah.
d. Notice that he is asking for mercy.
e. Matthew tells us that Jesus had compassion on him, mercy springs from compassion.
II. THE DISCOURAGING CROWD.
A. They were telling him to be quiet.
1. I cannot understand the mentality of people who would seek to keep others from coming to Jesus.
2. Earlier in this chapter we find even the disciples trying to keep the parents from bringing their children to Jesus.
3. I cannot understand why people even get on crusades against Jesus, trying to destroy the faith of those who have come.
B. Put yourself in the shoes of the blind man.
1. You have been living in a world of darkness.
2. Unable to work you have to beg in order to survive.
3. Through stories you have been hearing, there is a man who has been in the Galilee region, and on occasions had come to Jerusalem.
a. The stories have it that He has been opening the eyes of the blind.
b. Many who had been blind are now seeing.
c. Perhaps you have dreamed of some day meeting this Jesus of Nazareth, as His name is called, perhaps maybe even perhaps, He would heal you, and deliver you from your world of darkness.
d. Now He is passing near by to where you have been begging.
e. This is your opportunity, your chance of a lifetime, you are determined to seize the moment.
4. You start to cry out to Him for mercy.
5. Now the crowd begins to turn on you commanding you to be quiet.
6. You are so desperate that you are not about to be discouraged by the crowd. You begin to cry even louder. "Thou Son of David, have mercy on me."
C. The movement of the crowd stops, has He heard you?
1. You hear the people around you saying, "Be of good comfort, He is calling for you."
2. Your heart leaps for joy with the anticipation of being able to see.
D. Many of you have been as that blind man.
1. You have been living in the darkness of sin.
2. You have felt that you are forever doomed to that darkness, there is no cure for your blindness.
3. You have heard of the many that Jesus has set free from their addictions, but you have tried in vain for so long, that you have given up hope.
4. Jesus is passing this way this morning, you will never be this close to help, I encourage you to cry out to Him to help you.
III. "AND HE, CASTING AWAY HIS GARMENT, ROSE, AND CAME TO JESUS."
A. There must be some significance to the casting away of the garment else why would Mark mention it?
1. I have heard that it was a garment typically worn by beggars, and he knew that he would not need it any longer.
2. Sort of like a blind man throwing away his white cane.
3. It was an act of faith in anticipation of his healing.
4. I don't know for certain, but perhaps that is so.
B. The essence of the story is that he came to Jesus, the other facts are incidental.
1. He came to the only one who could help him.
2. He came believing that Jesus would help him, for Jesus later said, "Your faith has made you whole."
a. We are told in the faith chapter in Hebrews, that he that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
b. This man had diligently sought for Jesus to help him, and he is now to be rewarded.
3. What an exciting and dramatic moment as he now stands before Jesus.
C. Jesus asked him what he wanted Him to do for him.
1. He responded, "Lord, that I might receive my sight."
2. What is it that you want Jesus to do for you today?
3. See yourself as standing before Him and he is asking you the question, "What do you want me to do for you?"
a. Lord, that you might set me free from my lusts.
b. Lord, that you would heal me of my addictions.
c. Lord, that I might have strength to overcome temptation.
d. Lord, that you would touch my body, and make me whole.
D. Though there was a multitude of people around, his cry has brought the attention of Jesus directly to him.
1. Jesus will always respond to the cry of a desperate soul.
2. Suddenly it is as though you were the only one there. He is dealing personally with you and your need.
3. There is a multitude of people here today, but Jesus is interested in your personal need, and will minister personally to you.
E. The result of the story of the man who cried for mercy from Jesus, who when faced with the discouragement of the crowd only cried the more.
1. He heard the words of Jesus, "Go your way, your faith has made you whole."
2. He could immediately see the One that was standing before him. He could see the multitudes, he could see the city of Jericho.
3. Though Jesus said to go his way, we read that he followed Jesus in the way.
4. His way now was to follow Jesus. After all He's done for me, After all He's done for me, How can I do less, than give Him my best, And live for Him completely, After all He's done for me.