Dishman Baptist Church
A Final Opportunity
  • Behold Our God
  • Come Behold The Wondrous Mystery
  • O Great God
      • Philippians 3.12-13CSB

      • Philippians 3.14-16CSB

      • Philippians 3.17-18CSB

      • Philippians 3.19-20CSB

      • Philippians 3.21CSB

  • Introduction

    Good morning and welcome to Dishman Baptist Church. Please take your Bibles in whatever format you have them and turn with me to Mark 10, Mark 10. We are blessed that you would join us today as we worship our majestic Lord together. If you are here for the first time or you are joining us online for the first time please take a moment to fill out a contact card. We would love the opportunity to get to know you better and to share with you our mission here at Dishman.
    We have been travelling through the book of Mark for nearly a year and it would be a good moment to recap where we have been. Mark tells his readers from the very first line of the Gospel what his point is - this would be the beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God. We are given seats at His coronation and temptation. Mark records the beginning of Christ’s public ministry in the same forthright fashion as Christ proclaims “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news.” Christ has a very successful ministry launch in Capernaum teaching in the synagogue, casting out unclean spirits and healing the sick. The church plant was launched and the ministry would flourish but Christ doesn’t remain in Capernaum, instead He embarks on a tour throughout all of Galilee teaching the crowds and healing the sick.
    There is the inevitable clash with the religious elite as tensions escalate between Jesus and the Pharisees, Sadducees and scribes. The main teaching portion - the longest rendition of Jesus teaching that Mark records - comes on the shore of the sea of Galilee as Jesus begins to teach the crowds in parable form with the parable of the sower, or more appropriately the parable of the seeds. Mark then recounts several healings by Jesus and His rejection in Nazareth.
    The disciples embark on a successful missions trip and then Jesus goes through Tyre, Sidon and Caesarea Philippi before returning to Capernaum and beginning His journey towards Jerusalem and the cross. Along the way Mark has been giving us a lesson in discipleship that has followed a pattern. First Jesus would predict His death and immediately the disciples would demonstrate what discipleship is not and Jesus would have to correct their misunderstanding.
    Last week we witnessed the first two parts of the latest teaching - Jesus predicted His death and then the disciples (this time in the personage of James and John and their request for status in the new Kingdom) demonstrate their lack of understanding. This morning we’re going to get to witness an example of true discipleship and along the way be challenged in our own perceptions and positions as a disciple of Christ.
    Mark 10:46–52 CSB
    They came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a large crowd, Bartimaeus (the son of Timaeus), a blind beggar, was sitting by the road. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many warned him to keep quiet, but he was crying out all the more, “Have mercy on me, Son of David!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called the blind man and said to him, “Have courage! Get up; he’s calling for you.” He threw off his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus. Then Jesus answered him, “What do you want me to do for you?” “Rabboni,” the blind man said to him, “I want to see.” Jesus said to him, “Go, your faith has saved you.” Immediately he could see and began to follow Jesus on the road.
    This story takes place in the ancient city of Jericho. This really could have been called New Jericho as the location of the city was close to but not exactly in the same location as the original city that was destroyed by the Israelites as they began their conquest of Canaan. This city lies approximately 17 miles northeast of Jerusalem and is the last major city before the traveller would have to make the 3500 foot climb from the plains surrounding the Jordan River to the city of Jerusalem.
    While much of the surrounding area was hostile desert - much like our own Death Valley - the area immediately around Jericho was lush being fed by springs making it a vibrant oasis. The area surrounding the city was covered by balsa plantations and the city was known for its rose gardens - one commentary referred to Jericho as the Rose City. Between Jericho and Jerusalem lay a perilous path known to be inhabited by brigands and other unsavory characters - it was this journey that Jesus had in mind when He told the parable of the Good Samaritan.
    Jericho was also the last stop on the pilgrimage from Galilee through Perea into Judea for those Jews who sought to avoid Samaria. As a result it was a bustling commercial city as well as a military outpost. Jewish priests awaiting their opportunity to serve in the Temple would rest here before heading in to Jerusalem to report for duty. Much like a busy street corner in our day, Jericho was ideally suited for those seeking alms from those on their way to Jerusalem.
    A man sits at the gates leaving the city - he has sat there most of his life. But this day would reveal a difference about this man - that maybe even he didn’t know existed when he woke up that morning but that would be readily apparent by the end of this day. The Christian band Ghost Ship has captured this story in song “The blind won’t gain their sight by opening their eyes; A King is coming To this city and crowds around are following, If I could see, I would follow too.” As we look at this passage this morning let our eyes be opened to what it reveals to us and let us, along with Bartimaeus, leave the gate that is keeping us from Christ and follow Him.
    This passage reveals several aspects of discipleship for us - a disciple is persistent, and a disciple responds positively. But this text also has much to teach us about Jesus. We serve a Master who is merciful.

    A Disciple is Persistent

    No matter where Jesus went He always drew a crowd. As He is leaving Jericho the crowd that is following Him would have been an eclectic mix of characters. His disciples would have been there. But there would have been others as well. There would have been other Jews who were heading to Jerusalem for the Passover who would have gotten caught up in the swell of people like a shell in the surf of the seashore. There would have been some undesirable elements as Jesus had just had a very personal encounter with a man named Zacchaeus a tax collector and had had dinner at His home.
    As Jesus leaves Jericho word travels along the road and reaches the ears of a man sitting in his usual place at the side of the road outside the city. This man is almost as much of an outcast as some of those in the crowd following Jesus. He’s blind and blindness, like most sicknesses or disabilities, was viewed as a judgement from God on a sin committed by the person or their parents. In this man’s case it was most likely his own sin as it appears that he lost his sight later in life and wasn’t born this way.
    The noise of the crowd reaches his ears and as he feels someone brush past him he asks what is going on. And he receives the answer that he has been waiting for - Jesus of Nazareth is passing by. The entire country knew of Jesus by now. He had been ministering primarily in Galilee for the last two and a half years but word of Him had spread throughout Israel. And here He was passing right by on His way to Jerusalem. The man begins to cry out - Jesus, Son of David now stop there.
    Son of David. This is a moniker for Christ that has not been used in Mark yet and is only used a handful of times in the other Gospels. The use of this name leaves no doubt as to the identity of Jesus. If He truly is the Son of David then He would be the long awaited Messiah. This blind man on the road outside of Jericho, much like the Syrophoenician woman before him, had seen and perceived what those who had observed His ministry in Galilee for two and a half years had not. That Jesus was the promised Messiah and, not the Messiah that everyone was expecting - this man perceived Him correctly. But we’ll get to that in a moment.
    Son of David. Mark’s readers would have understood name to be a reference to the promised King from the line of David given in 2 Samuel 7
    2 Samuel 7:11–14 CSB
    ever since the day I ordered judges to be over my people Israel. I will give you rest from all your enemies. “ ‘The Lord declares to you: The Lord himself will make a house for you. When your time comes and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up after you your descendant, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will discipline him with a rod of men and blows from mortals.
    The near fulfillment of this prophecy was Solomon but the ultimate fulfillment came in the person of Jesus Christ. And this blind man on the side of the road outside of Jericho has rightly identified Christ as the promised Son of David.
    But the crowd is not friendly to this man and they tell him to be quiet. This is a shift that only happens here. Throughout the Gospel whenever someone (or something in the case of the unclean spirits) has identified Christ in Messianic terms it has been Christ that has issued the command to silence. Yet here it is the crowd that is telling the man to be quiet. Throughout Mark the crowd is always willing to be near to Jesus but also presents a picture of those who would keep people away from Jesus. In Mark 2 the crowd prevents the four men from bringing an invalid to Christ. Several times it is His own disciples who have put up a barrier between the crowds and their Master - even trying to keep children away. And it is the same circumstance here - the crowd is telling this undesirable, this sinner to quiet down despite the fact that he has everything right where they all have so much wrong. Notice the tenor of his cries.
    Not only does he cry out Son of David rightly identifying who Christ is but he says have mercy on me. This man knew his station. He knew what the prevailing belief was. In his own thoughts he had probably berated himself for whatever sin had led to his present condition. He knew that Jewish theology taught that his blindness was God’s curse on him. But he doesn’t even cry out primarily for healing at first - he cries out for mercy, for undeserved kindness, for the Savior to meet the primary need of his heart that only this man could. And he would not be put off. He would not be silenced. In the words of the musical “Hamilton” he would not “throw away his shot.” Refusing to be silenced by the crowd he persists and only gets louder crying out “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
    I wonder do we have the persistence in seeking Christ that this man did? It is a proven fact that we are one of the most distracted generations in the history of the world. A simple google search revealed that the average attention span of an adult is 8 seconds. 8 seconds. We live in a digital age where our attention is constantly being chased after by news cycles and social media. We wake up and reach for our cell phones to see if we’ve gotten any new mail or text messages over night that need to be answered right now. We spend hours perusing the tv or the internet, game systems or hobbies. A few weeks ago we looked at the ruthless extents that we must sometimes go to in our pursuit of discipleship as Jesus used hyperbolic language saying that it would be better to enter the Kingdom of Heaven maimed than to enter Hell with all of your limbs.
    Do you persistently pursue your Savior? C an you say along with Paul
    Philippians 3:13–14 CSB
    Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.
    What is the goal for which we have been called in Christ Jesus - it is eternal life. Not simply to live forever but eternal life as Christ defines it in John 17
    John 17:3 CSB
    This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and the one you have sent—Jesus Christ.
    And now the rubber meets the road - are we persistently pursuing Christ? Or are we merely going through the motions. Do we pursue Him in our Bible study or are we checking the box to say that we’ve done it? Are we seeking Him out in prayer or do we use that spiritual discipline as a “get out of jail free” card turning to it when it benefits us most and neglecting it otherwise. Are we filtering the upcoming election through spiritual eyes or are we focused only on the here and now. What about church? There are some, and let me say that I know this is not all, but there are some who are comfortable going to restaurants, on vacation or to other venues but they have not chosen to return to church yet. How passionate, how persistent is your pursuit of Christ?
    This blind man sitting on the side of the road rightly identifies Christ and rightly calls out to Him - and his persistence pays off. Because the Savior, pressed by a need to be in Jerusalem, stops. And calls the man - and this isn’t a simple request, this is a summons to present himself before Christ. If you received the same call today how would you respond?

    A Disciple responds Positively

    The tone of the crowd changes quickly as Christ issues His summons. Those who just moments ago were telling this man to be quiet now cheerfully say “Have courage; Get up; He’s calling for you.” Oh those fickle people. One minute they’re trying to stifle this man and the next they’re cheering him on. There is a momentary lesson in this for us. We should always remember we live for an audience of One. The crowd and our popularity with them can be gone in an instant, they can be telling us to be quiet one instant, cheering us the next and then back to silencing us in the span of three breathes. The same thing happened here. The crowd that had been encouraging this man to silence now opened up a broad path for him to Christ.
    And to the man’s credit he was ready. He threw off his cloak, jumped up and went to Jesus. Notice now what he was doing. This is not some sort of symbolic act of throwing things out of his life or throwing off those things that would hinder him from reaching Christ - this was an actual, physical cloak. It was most likely one of the few material possessions he had and he willingly left it behind in order to respond to Jesus call. Much like Matthew, who had left behind the lucrative business of tax collecting earlier in Mark, this man left his things not knowing if they would still be there for him when he returned.
    Notice now the question that Jesus asks him. “What do you want me to do for you?” We’ve heard this question before.
    Mark 10:35–36 CSB
    James and John, the sons of Zebedee, approached him and said, “Teacher, we want you to do whatever we ask you.” “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked them.
    The two disciples came to Jesus looking for status, for glory, for exalted places in His new Kingdom. How unlike their response is this man’s. I wonder if they were close enough to hear this exchange if they would have noticed the wording of the question. This man’s response is not a request for glory but a simple request for sight. But even in this request he exhibits a depth of understanding and faith that few have shown in the Gospels.
    “Rabboni” this more formal address than the traditional rabbi carries the connotation of my master or my Lord. The understanding that had existed, influencing this man to call Jesus the Son of David rightly understanding His Messianic standing, now blooms full as he calls Him Lord. This man knows the depths of his need, the utter poverty of not only his physical condition but his spiritual condition as well. He knows also that the only answer to both those needs is now standing in front of him. His request is simple. “I want to see.”
    Mark 10:51 NASB95
    And answering him, Jesus said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And the blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!”
    The NASB renders his phrase as I want to regain my sight - leading to the conclusion that this man had once been able to see but had lost that ability somewhere in life. Imagine how that must have felt - not only to lose the use of one of your senses (arguably one of the most important) but also to be shut away inside your own head with the guilt and the shame and the thought that you had caused this. And to simply come before Jesus and to ask in one simple question to be released from all of that. This man wasn’t simply asking for his sight back, he was asking to be set free from the apparent and very real curse of God on his life.
    Jesus response to him is telling in this - Go your faith has saved you. Not a simple go your faith has made you well. Or go your faith has restored your vision. Your faith has saved you. This is the Greek word sozo - and it is the root word for salvation or soteria. It means to save or deliver. Jesus is pronouncing so much more than just a simple healing here. This word is used frequently throughout the New Testament to denote salvation.
    Ephesians 2:8 CSB
    For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—
    1 Timothy 1:15 CSB
    This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them.
    Mark could have used another word if he had only wanted to indicate physical healing but this man received so much more. This is notably the last healing miracle that Mark records and in healing this man spiritually as well as physically Christ gives one last flicker of light, one last incident of hope before the dark days that would encompass much of the next week as those who were encouraging this man to silence his own voice as he identified Christ as the Son of David would first herald Him and then howl for His crucifixion.
    But this man on this day received healing - and he responded by following Christ. But what was it about Christ that drew him to Him? He had heard all of the stories but what drew him to cry out, to risk the inevitable scorn that would be directed his way?

    Our Master is Merciful

    Notice that Jesus, despite the urgency that He felt in setting His face towards Jerusalem, takes the time to stop for this man. Jesus is never too busy, to focused or to driven to be found by those who desire to know Him. Nor is anyone so far away from Jesus that He cannot reach them. Nothing you have done in your life, nothing you could ever do in your life could prevent His mercy from finding you. This man sat outside the gates of Jericho for years, bearing the reproach of what he had done or what others perceived he had done that led to his current condition. But in a moment all of that was wiped away when he came face to face with the merciful Savior. He is perceptive enough to meet us right where our need is. This man came to Him needing both physical and spiritual healing and Christ provided both.
    Psalm 147:5 CSB
    Our Lord is great, vast in power; his understanding is infinite.
    The 19th century pastor Cornelius Tyree wrote this
    Christ’s knowledge is as limitless as His power, His understanding is boundless; He knows the end from the beginning; He knows all things in their origin, connections, tendencies and consequences. Everything that has occurred in the universe, everything that is now taking place, and everything that will take place—is mapped out before His omniscient eye in perfect transparency…At a single glance He looks through immensity and eternity, and takes in at one view all beings and events. Nothing can surprise, or baffle, or disappoint Him. He knows how to make the most malicious wiles of Hell redound to His people’s greatest good and His greatest glory.
    As this man stood before Jesus, as you stand before Him today, He knows all about you. He knows your weaknesses. The eyes that see all the immensity of the universe, all of eternity also take in your face, your heart and your innermost thoughts. And He is merciful. He asks you the question “What do you want me to do for you?” as if there is any more that He could do for us. He could ask it of this man before the cross because that event hadn’t happened yet. But what would you say to Him today. How would you prevail upon His mercy now - knowing what was done there?
    This man encountered Jesus on one of His last days on earth - Jesus would never pass that way again. There would never be another opportunity. And for some of us our opportunities are coming short. What would prevent you from crying out to Him “Son of David, have mercy on me” today?

    Conclusion

    And that isn’t the end of the story - this disciple, this blind man that met Jesus on the side of the road went from being an outcast, sitting outside the city, on the side of the road to being included into the family of God, on the road to Heaven. He is also the only recipient of healing throughout the entire Gospel of Mark who’s name is given. Church history and tradition tells that Bartimaeus went on to become influential in the early Jerusalem church. This outcast, this man who only wanted to see, who had a simple request but was persistent and positive in his response to the One he knew was the Lord was given notoriety that he did not seek. How could Christ use you - if you were persistent in seeking Him and responded positively when He called?
      • Mark 10:46–52CSB

      • 2 Samuel 7:11–14CSB

      • Philippians 3:13–14CSB

      • John 17:3CSB

      • Mark 10:35–36CSB

      • Mark 10:51CSB

      • Ephesians 2:8CSB

      • 1 Timothy 1:15CSB

      • Psalm 147:5CSB

  • Hallelujah What A Savior

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