A Man Named Bartimaeus

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings:
Deuteronomy 1-3; Mark 10:32-52

Bartimaeus

46 Jesus and his followers came into Jericho. As Jesus was leaving Jericho, together with his disciples and a sizable crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, Timaeus’ son, was sitting beside the road. 47 When he heard that Jesus of Nazareth was there, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, show me mercy!” 48 Many scolded him, telling him to be quiet, but he shouted even louder, “Son of David, show me mercy!”

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

They called the blind man, “Be encouraged! Get up! He’s calling you.”

50 Throwing his coat to the side, he jumped up and came to Jesus.

51 Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”

The blind man said, “Teacher, I want to see.”

52 Jesus said, “Go, your faith has healed you.” At once he was able to see, and he began to follow Jesus on the way (Mark 10:46-52, Common English Bible).

I am not sure exactly why, but I have always liked the character Bartimaeus. Perhaps it is because even when people told him to be quiet and not trouble Jesus, Bartimaeus remained persistent. He knew, if ever he was to have sight, it would come from getting Jesus’ attention, regardless of what others might have had to say.

Maybe I am so drawn to him because, in Mark’s way of telling a story, he makes Bartimaeus direct in what he asks of Jesus. Jesus asks what he wants Jesus to do and Bartimaeus simply says, “I want to see.” There is no beating around the bush. There is no messing around. “What do you want?” then “I want to see.”

Then again, Bartimaeus knew who he needed to visit to receive the help he needed. No one else was going to do the trick.

Another reason I may like this character so much is, when he received his sight, he didn’t go out and celebrate. He didn’t go show his family or friends. Bartimaeus followed Jesus “…on the way.”

Those are all lessons for us too. As people of faith, we know where we need to go to find help in our lives. That doesn’t mean don’t go to the doctor when we are sick or to an ophthalmologist when we are dealing with physical blindness (blindness can sometimes be corrected by the medicine of today.  It just means, before we do anything else, we go to God and we go regardless of what others might say.

When we are in need, no matter what others may say we need to be people who are persistent in going to God. The world would have us remain the same, unchanged. And, without God leading our lives, we remain spiritually blind to the needs of others in the world around us.

We also need to go and visit the One we need to find healing and wholeness. I have heard some doctor’s say, “I treat the illness, God does the healing.”

Then, not only when we are finished, when we are healed, when we can see, but also every step along the way, we follow Jesus on the Way. To follow Him always, that is our call.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

 

 

Author:

"The Pastor Ponders" is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. Bishop and I live in Sweeny, Texas where I am the pastor of First United Methodist Church. I have served here for the past two years. For the past 27 years I have served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

One thought on “A Man Named Bartimaeus

  1. Thank you my friend. Bartimaeus is just my favorite healing story! And I needed to be reminded of that today…with fresh eyes. Wednesday blessings!

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