Say AMEN! • Can You See God – 11/20/22
The Gospel of Mark Chapter 10 relates the story of a blind man named Bartimaeus. As he is sitting by the side of the road a large crowd emerges from the town of Jericho. The crowd is following Jesus. Bartimaeus has heard of Jesus, but here he is on the roadside and Jesus is walking down the road. Although Bartimaeus can’t see where Jesus is, he can hear the crowd and knows that Jesus must be close. Rather than think, poor me, I can’t see Jesus, Bartimaeus focuses on what he can do. He can hear and he can speak. He begins to call out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mk 10:47) He makes somewhat of a commotion because many in the crowd tell him to be quiet. We don’t know all that they said, but we can imagine they were not kind in their reaction to him. They may have said, “Jesus doesn’t have time for you. Stop embarrassing yourself. Just shut up!” But Bartimaeus couldn’t be deterred. He shouts even louder. Jesus hears him, and says, “Tell him to come here.” What an amazing moment. As Bartimaeus jumped up ready to go to Jesus, he throws off his coat. Some scholars believe that beggars were identified by a specific coat, so that people on the street knew they were legitimate beggars. To lose the coat would be devastating if he wasn’t headed for a miracle. Bartimaeus’ faith causes him to toss off the old and go to Jesus. Jesus asks what he wants, and Bartimaeus asks to be able to see; instantly Jesus heals him. His bold faith was the key. Had he sat quietly or cowered when the crowd rebuked him, he would have never received the miracle. He would never have seen Jesus. Bartimaeus then follows Jesus.
Scriptures – Mark 10:16-52
Verse – “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked. “My Rabbi,” the blind man said, I want to see!” And Jesus said to him, “Go, for your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road. (Mk 10:51-52)
Thought – We all go through difficult times. It may be the crunch of inflation that is creating anxiety and tension, financial pressure may be distressing, maybe your company has downsized, and you received your pink slip. It might be a struggle in your marriage, a child gone astray, a health issue, depression, a battle with addiction, but whatever your struggle, your hurt and uncertainty can make it difficult to see God, to believe God can!
The story of Bartimaeus teaches that when you need God, call out to Him. You may be in a situation where you can’t see God, can’t believe God is able, but God is always near. Whatever you need, call out to God. He will hear you. Don’t focus on what you don’t have, focus on what you do have. You can call on the God who created you, loves you and wants to help you. Don’t be sidelined by the faith suckers. Many around you will not lend support, they will discourage you, mock your faith and tell you to just be quiet and accept the way things are. Don’t stop believing, worshipping, praying. Jesus hears the cries of desperate people. Bartimaeus threw off his coat to go to Jesus. His faith assured him that he would no longer need a beggar’s coat. If there is something that is holding you back, keeping you from moving forward and trusting God, let it go. It’s an act of faith that God honors. When God moves, calls you, brings peace to your situation, follow Him. Don’t do as many do when things are good and life is smooth, they forget about God.
Questions – What is holding you back from fully trusting Jesus? Do you know Jesus is near, even when you can’t see him in your situation? Do those around you discourage you from having faith? Explain. Do you need better friends? How much does the crowd influence your pursuit of Jesus? Is it more important to you to be followed or to be a follower?
Response – Ask God to make you sensitive to his presence. Read your Bible, pray, listen to Christian music, share with other believers. These things help strengthen your faith and bring you closer to God. You will see Jesus better when you are closer!
Prayer – Dear God, help me to run after you. May I throw off all that holds me back and hinders my faith. Help me to see you and follow you closely. In Jesus Name I pray, amen.