Mark 10:46-52                                   A Blind Beggar                                5/08/2016     <->

#1.      Bartimaeus, Son of Timaeus (Mark 10:46. Isa 42:6-7, 2Tim 2:26. Prov 20:12)

#2.      Have Mercy on Me (Mark 10:47-48. John 6:44)

#3.     What Wilt Thou That I Should Do Unto Thee? (Mark 10:51-52. Lu 18:43)

 

 

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Gospel according to Mark 10:46 (2X). The title of our sermon today is: "A Blind Beggar" (2X). This is the familiar story of "Blind Bartimaeus" who is going to be healed from his blindness by the Lord Jesus Christ. Most of you already know this sweet story. Most of you have read it already more than one time. I am only going to give you a few pieces of information that will add to your understanding of this historical event. First of all I need to iron out some historical facts from the Bible about the city of Jericho, because here we have an apparent contradiction.

Mr 10:46  And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.

The Gospel of Mark says that Jesus "went out of Jericho" when Blind Bartimaeus pleaded with Him to heal his blindness. The same story in the Gospel according to Matthew reads, "they departed from Jericho". So far no contradictions here. But the same story in the Gospel according to Luke reads, "as He was come nigh unto Jericho". In Matthew and Mark Jesus was coming out of Jericho, but in Luke Jesus was going into Jericho. God is the Author of all four Gospel writers, and therefore they have to agree, because God does not lie. How is this apparent contradiction resolved? Where is the city of Jericho located? Jericho is strategically located just West of the Jordan River on the ancient trade routes from the East. As you know, the city of Jericho was the first city that the children of Israel conquered after they crossed the Jordan River into the land of Canaan. Did you know there are 3 cities of Jericho? The first one was utterly destroyed by the children of Israel when they entered the land of Canaan. We can read that in Joshua chapter 6. Let me read to you from Josh 6:26 the curse that God pronounced on the plot of land where the old city of Jericho stood,

Jos 6:26 And Joshua adjured them at that time, saying, Cursed be the man before the LORD, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it.

Today, when you see the area of Jericho you can still see the hill and the ruins where the old city of Jericho stood. The city was not rebuilt on that hill. This is the first of the 3 cities of Jericho. But Jericho is also identified as the city of palm trees. We read in Deut 34:3, De 34:3 And the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar. Not too long after the death of Joshua we read about a new city of palm trees in Judg 1:16,

Jud 1:16 And the children of the Kenite, Moses' father in law, went up out of the city of palm trees with the children of Judah into the wilderness of Judah,

Was this a new city of palm trees? Yes! This was the 2nd city of Jericho. It was not built on the hill where the old city stood, but it was close enough to be also called Jericho. We can hardly believe that people had the audacity to rebuild the city of Jericho, without actually calling it Jericho. To make it clear, that this does not refer to the old hill where the ruins of the old city were standing, God

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repeated the city's name in Judg 3:13. The children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and the

Lord sent Eglon, the king of Moab against Israel. We read in Judg 3:13,

Jud 3:13 And he gathered unto him the children of Ammon and Amalek, and went and smote Israel, and possessed the city of palm trees.

From this it is clear that the king of Moab did not occupy the old hill with its ruins. No! He occupied a new city of palm trees that was strategically located on the existing trade route, and so the king of Moab controlled much of the trade into and out of the Southern part of the land of Israel. Well, the Moabites were eventually chased away. But about 450 years later another city of Jericho was built. We read in 1 Kings 16:34,

1Ki 16:34 In his days did Hiel the Bethelite build Jericho: he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his firstborn, and set up the gates thereof in his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Joshua the son of Nun.

This is the 3rd city of Jericho. After the Babylonian captivity, cities were rebuilt. Undoubtedly both the 2nd and the 3rd city of Jericho were rebuilt. And so when we read in Luke that Jesus came near unto Jericho, it could have been that He just came out of the 2nd city of Jericho and was about to enter the 3rd city of Jericho. And there He met:

#1.      Bartimaeus, Son of Timaeus (Mark 10:46, Isa 42:6-7, 2Tim 2:26, Prov 20:12)

Mr 10:46 And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.

Bartimaeus means the son of Timaeus. We do not know for sure what Timaeus means, because the name is probably of Aramaic origin. But we know that he was a beggar and he was blind. Perhaps you remember that I was going to preach on parables. But this is not a parable. Isn't it? Put a sticker here in Mark 10, and please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Isaiah 42:6 (2X). The first 7 verses of this chapter are Messianic in nature. In Isa 42 God speaks to us about the Lord Jesus Christ. This is confirmed in the Gospel according to Matthew, chapter 12. God introduces us to the Lord Jesus when He says, "Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles." Then God says in verse 6,

Isa 42:6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;

Isa 42:7   To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

We can read that Jesus opened the eyes of the blind, but why did God indicate that Jesus would bring out prisoners from prison? Do we read anywhere that Jesus delivered prisoners from their prison? No! That is nowhere found in the NT. In fact this is found in many verses in the Bible, that the Messiah will deliver captives from bondage. And yet we do not read anywhere that Jesus indeed 2/29/2004                                                         Mark 10:46-52 /A Blind Beggar                                                           Page 3

released prisoners. When His cousin, John he Baptist, was put in prison Jesus only encouraged him, but He did nothing to get John the Baptist out of prison. But God does not lie. If we insist on interpreting the Bible in a purely historical fashion, then we cannot understand what God is telling us here in this passage about people that are in prison. In fact, the entire verse of Isa 42:7 must be interpreted spiritually. This is parabolic language to indicate how desperate the situation for every human being is. Isa 42:7 says that we all are spiritually blind from birth. We all were born in the house of bondage, in bondage to Sin and to Satan. We all were born in spiritual darkness; we all were in darkness about God and about salvation. We all were in the prison house of Satan into which Adam had sold himself and all his descendants. Let me read to you one verse to indicate how terrible our situation was, or is, if you are still unsaved. God says in 2Tim 2:26, "And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will." When we were, or are, still in the prison house of Satan we were enticed by snares of the Devil, and we were trapped in his snares at his will. And because we enjoyed our life that was in the kingdom of Satan, we were under the wrath of God and on the way to Hell, which we so justly deserved for our sins. People sin voluntarily. That is why God can justly condemn everyone to Hell, because people sin of their own free will, and they enjoy their sin. This is the prison house of Satan from which we need to be delivered. Moreover, we all were spiritually blind from birth. We could not see the Kingdom of God, even when we were with our nose in the Bible. It remained a closed book to us, because we were blind to all the teachings of the Bible. It took a miracle from God to make me see anything worthwhile in the Bible. It took a miracle from God to make me see that this is not a book written by men, but it is a Book that was written by God. It took a miracle to make me see that I was on the way to Hell for all my sins; I thought I was a very nice man. It took a miracle to make me believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and believe that He indeed atoned for all my sins. I was spiritually blind, and so were you. We all were born blind. We all were born in prison. Who was responsible for that? Who can we blame for such a worldwide catastrophe? We can blame Adam, but ultimately God was responsible for making us blind from birth. God says so in Prov 20:12, "The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them." If God created physical ears to hear and physical eyes to see, then God is also responsible for creating spiritual ears to hear and spiritual eyes to see in those whom He intends to save. God does all of that. Now, can we see that Isa 42:7 is written as a parable? And can we see that the healing of blind Bartimaeus in the NT is a historical parable? This was a historical event, but the reason it is in the Bible is because it is also a picture of salvation of everyone whom God intends to save. Please turn again to the Gospel of Mark 10:46 (2X). God does not say if Bartimaeus was blind from birth. Jesus says this of another blind man whom He healed. The real question is, can we see in all the healing miracles that Jesus did pictures of salvation? If so, then all these historical events are actually historical parables of salvation. Look at Mark 10:46. There were the Disciples, of whom 11

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were saved, and there was also a great multitude. Of all those people Jesus named only one by name: "Bartimaeus". Can you see that God is very selective whom He chooses to save? And look at the types of people Jesus saved. Rarely did He save any of the nobles or any of the rulers of the Jews. Here He saved a beggar, the lowest on the social ladder. What is so special about a beggar? A beggar is someone who knows that he has nothing to give. All his needs are gifts from God, which are given him through the hands of other people. We cannot be saved until we realize that we have nothing to give to God, absolutely nothing. Only then will we plead with God to save us. And when we come to that point in our life that we plead with God for salvation, God has already saved us. Look here at blind Bartimaeus pleading for mercy:

Mr 10:47  And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.

Bartimaeus knew that he was blind. He heard the noise of people, but he did not understand that he was in need of salvation. But this he knew: He connected "Jesus of Nazareth" with "Jesus the Son of David". The multitude called Him Jesus of Nazareth. That is not a compliment. To be of Nazareth was not an honor, but a dishonor. But Bartimaeus had heard in the past that this Jesus has given sight to many blind people. This Jesus has given hearing to deaf people. This Jesus has made the lame to walk, and the dumb to speak. This Jesus even made the dead to come to life again. This Jesus had all the characteristics of being the promised Messiah. In fact, He fit the bill, because He was also a Son of David. Both Joseph and Mary were descendants of king David. And everyone knew that the Messiah would be a Son of David. And so, when Bartimaeus heard that Jesus was passing by, he cried out for Jesus to have mercy on him. O Lord, have mercy on me! O Lord, do not pass me by! Do we plead with God like this? Do we realize that God could have passed us by when He was selecting those who would be His elect? Do we realize the full impact of what it means when Jesus passes us by? It means we remain blind forever, and it means we will be held accountable for our many sins, which means we would have to spend an eternity in Hell to pay off the guilt of those sins. What a terrible way to die! Are we expressing our gratitude every day for God having saved us? How grateful are we really for this great salvation? Are we as grateful as the OT saints? Well, are the covenant promises more glorious in the declaration of the NT than in the OT? Is Christ more glorious in the NT than in the OT period of time? Is the church more glorious in the NT than in the OT period of time? Is the Temple of God more glorious in the NT than in the OT period of time? Of course, the answer is YES to all these questions. Then why is it that most of the worshippers in the NT period of time consider it enough if they give one or two hours per week to Worship and Bible Study and prayer? Are we burnt out after two hours? Tell that to your employer on Monday and see how long it takes before you are fired. "O Lord, do not pass me by, but do not expect much in return".

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Bartimaeus knew that Jesus was a Son of David, but He did not yet know that Jesus was and is literally the Son of God. Today all kinds of people acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God. Even the Mormons do so. You see, to admit that Jesus is the Son of God is not a big obstacle. This is not threatening to modern man. Jesus may have this title and be at a safe distance from us. But, when we say that Jesus Christ is God, then the situation is quite a bit more threatening to modern man. If Jesus Christ is God, then the awful things done to Him by the Jews and by the Romans at Calvary make us tremble in fear for the whole human race. How did people dare to crucify the person who brought them the love of God? And who will be held responsible for crucifying Jesus? Pilate wrote the accusation above the head of Jesus on the cross: "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews", and God inspired him to write this accusation in Hebrew, and Greek and Latin, to make known to all in the Roman Empire, both Jews and Gentiles, that all mankind is responsible for this action. It makes us tremble in fear, and it makes us all the more appreciate what Christ has done on the cross for those whom He calls His people. Bartimaeus pleaded, Lord,

#2.       Have Mercy on Me (Mark 10:47-48, John 6:44)                    

Mr 10:47  And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.

What do we understand out of these words, "Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me"? What did blind Bartimaeus ask for? He asked Jesus to make him see. But it was written for us in such a way that we can see the spiritual meaning of those words. In the light of Isa 42:7 Bartimaeus asked Jesus to make him see the Kingdom of God. He asked Jesus for mercy. What does it mean for God to have mercy on us? We are asking infinitely righteous God to have mercy on us and to take away the guilt of our sins, so that we would not have to pay for our sins the penalty due to us. It means we are asking the infinitely just Judge, of all the earth, to pardon us. But a just Judge cannot do that. Almighty God, who is a righteous Judge, or a just Judge, cannot pardon a criminal the way earthly judges extend a pardon to a criminal. Unrighteous judges among mankind have invented such a pardon. An unrighteous judge, or an unjust judge, does not demand the same penalty for each crime. But God, who is an infinitely righteous Judge, must demand the same penalty for each crime. Therefore, the only way God could extend mercy is if there was a substitute who would pay the penalty for the criminal. The penalty is an eternity in Hell. Therefore the Substitute must endure the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. Is there such a substitute for us? The answer is YES! God sent the Second Person of the Triune Godhead into this world to be our Substitute, and to endure the penalty of the equivalent of an eternity in Hell for our sins in our place. He took on a human nature by being incarnated in the womb of the Virgin Mary. The Lord Jesus Christ is both God and man at the same time. He is God because if He were less than God He would not be able to endure the suffering required for our sins. He is man, because only man can substitute for another man. No animal or angel could make

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atonement for the sins of man. Therefore, it is required that, the One who would be our stand-in before the judgment throne of God would be both God and man. But the Lord Jesus Christ is the Judge who will judge all mankind. And so, the Judge Himself has come down to earth to take on a human body and has endured in our place this enormous penalty, because the primary attribute of God, His righteousness, cannot be violated. We see then that God the Father dearly loved His only begotten Son, but His love for His Son and His love for those whom He intended to save, had to take second place after His righteousness. The righteousness of God is first and foremost, and that is why His only begotten Son had to suffer so much. Therefore, when we ask God to have mercy on us, we are actually asking the Judge, the Lord Jesus Christ, to go to the cross for us, and to endure Hell for us, in our place, because we are not able to do that for ourselves. Bartimaeus asked for mercy. He did not reason all this out, but ultimately, this is what he was asking for. Then we read,

Mr 10:48 And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.

What do we see here? Many in the crowd told Bartimaeus to be quiet. Why did they want him to be quiet? Don't they realize that this was like music in the ears of God? No! They did not understand that at all. They did not want to hear his cry, "Have mercy on me", because this is what they did not want to cry. You see, the Father was drawing Bartimaeus to Jesus, but the Father was not drawing them. We read in John 6:44, No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him". Those whom the Father did not intend to save, or not intend to save at this time, are not drawn to Jesus and will remain in their sins. But the Father did draw Bartimaeus, and Jesus called him.

Mr 10:49 And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.

Mr 10:50 And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.

We see here the effective call of God. God's call to repent goes out into the whole world, but only those whom God intends to save will hear it. "Many are called, but few are chosen". Those whom God wants to save are called His elect. They have been predestined to become saved. At some point in their life they will hear the Gospel of God's grace and they will believe what they hear, because what they hear is in the Bible. God says in Rom 8:30,

Ro 8:30 Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified.

God predestinated His elect to enjoy the glories of heaven. These people receive the effective call from God. It is the call that no one can resist, because no one can resist God's irresistible grace. It is the call to let them know that the Lord Jesus Christ has paid for all their sins. Therefore they are justified in the sight of God. God made them just in His sight. Do they believe this? Absolutely YES!

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They believe it with their whole heart. Bartimaeus was one of the elect. He was called because he

was chosen in Christ before time began. We read in Eph 1:4-5,

Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by (= through) Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

For those of us who believe the Bible, God predestinated us to be adopted as His children through the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. We are adopted children because, as the Bride of Christ, we have been adopted into the family of God. But before we are adopted there is the irresistible calling of God the Holy Spirit. This is an event that is different for each person. For the Apostle Paul it meant that he was thrown to the ground by a blinding light. For Bartimaeus it meant that he felt the urgency to cry out for mercy. We read in 2Tim 1:9,

2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but  according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

And so we see that the decision of God to predestinate us, and the call of God, and the action of God to save us, are "not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace", or in the words of Eph 1:5, "according to the good pleasure of His will". God calls us with a holy calling, and this is what Bartimaeus experienced. Suddenly he brought up the courage to cry out to Jesus for mercy. Then Jesus called him. What was the first thing Bartimaeus did? He "casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus". It did not mean that he came naked to Jesus. But it meant that he cast away his coat, or his robe, expecting to receive a more glorious robe, the robe of Christ's righteousness. His own robe was just made by man. His own robe represented the works of man, which are all tainted with sin. But the robe of Christ's righteousness is perfect and spotless. Then Jesus said,

#3.     What Wilt Thou That I Should Do Unto Thee? (Mark 10:51-52, Lu 18:43)

Mr 10:51   And Jesus answered and said unto him, "What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?" The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.

Mr 10:52 And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

What should we ask from God? What is most important in our life? Most likely Bartimaeus has never seen. How would he know what he would gain by seeing? Historically he did ask for receiving his sight, and he received it. But what does this mean to us in the 21st century? If we harmonize this with Isa 42:7 we understand that salvation is the issue. What would you like that God would do for you? I would like that God would save my wife and my children, and my children in law, and all my

 

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grandchildren and my great-grandchildren, and so on. Unfortunately this is a request that cannot be filled, because no one goes to heaven on the coattails of their parents or other family members. Every one of God's elect will be saved individually, because salvation is not by bloodline, nor by the will of the flesh, nor by the will of man. God asked Solomon, "Ask what I shall give thee", and Solomon asked for wisdom. God gave him a great deal of wisdom. But was this really what Solomon should have asked for? The Lord Jesus asked Bartimaeus, "What shall I do for you?" Did he just ask to receive his sight? But from verse 52 we understand that Bartimaeus received a whole lot more than his eyes. Bartimaeus received salvation because Jesus said, "Thy faith hath made thee whole". To be made whole means that Bartimaeus was not only physically made whole, but also spiritually he was made whole. In the Gospel according to Luke this same story ends with the following verse:

Lu 18:43 And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people,

when they saw it, gave praise unto God.

When Bartimaeus ends up glorifying God, it means that he became saved, because the unsaved cannot do anything pleasing to God. Moreover, in Mark 10:52 we read that Bartimaeus "followed Jesus in the way". He became a follower of Jesus and followed Jesus "in the way". The believers of Jesus were called the followers of "the way". Saul persecuted the followers of "the way". And so we see that this story of Blind Bartimaeus was really the story of the salvation of Bartimaeus. When Jesus said to him, "Go thy way", Jesus did not mean to send him away, but "go on your way to tell others what God has done for you". And is that not also what God is telling us today? In our gratitude we want to be obedient to Jesus' command. This really is a command from Jesus, to serve as His ambassadors in this world. Our service of gratitude consists primarily in this, that we will tell the story of what God has done for us. Should we begin with the love of God? I do not think so. We should begin with the righteousness of God, or the justness of God, which is the same word. The righteousness of God demands that every sin must be paid with an eternity in Hell. That is why the entire human race is headed for Hell, and that is why we need a Savior. There is where the Lord Jesus Christ comes into the picture. He took my place before the Judgment throne of God. When He was crucified I was crucified with Him, because, before the foundation of the world, God made Him my representative. When Christ endured the equivalent of an eternity in Hell in my place, I went through Hell with Christ. Therefore, God will not require that I must endure Hell for a second time. All my sins have been paid at the cross, and when Christ died, I died with Him. Therefore, when I was raised with Christ when He rose from the grave, I started a new life which I now live in gratitude for my Redeemer, who saved me from the pit of Hell and gave me this new life in Him. Like Bartimaeus, I became a follower of Jesus. I will share His griefs and His joys, and I delight to do those things that are pleasing in the sight of my Lord.      AMEN.                      Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.

 

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