The rich young ruler, blind Bartimaeus, and Jesus

Image source: HopeChurch

The books of the gospel, provide not only insights about Jesus, but insights about how different people responded to Jesus. The response of these individuals help us to also understand our response to Jesus too.

We have been in Mark for the past six weeks; two Sundays ago we learnt about Jesus and the rich young ruler, last Sunday we saw how blind Bartimaeus responded to Jesus. Both encounters are from Chapter 10 of Mark; they happened as Jesus was on his way from Capernaum in the north to Jerusalem in the south.

Mark had made us understand that Jesus went about his mission with urgency. Jesus was also very popular; the biggest celebrity around. The rich young ruler in Mark 10:17-22 thus approached Jesus in public, hoping that in front of the crowd, he will receive praise and become a celebrity too. He came to Jesus not as a follower but to win additional trophy for his cabinet.

Compare this to blind Bartimaeus in Mark 10:46-52; he was blind a beggar but he had heard about Jesus – the man of the moment. Miracles of miracles, this Jesus was passing his way, wow, wow, wow! There is a noisy crowd, ok, I am going to shout and scream “Son of David, have mercy on me!”. The rich man was independent and did not need a savior, Bartimaeus was dependent.

When I come to Jesus, do I come as an equal, a colleague, a fellow VIP, or do I come accepting that I am meeting divine greatness (Son of David)? The rich man came to meet a fellow VIP for recognition; Bartimaeus came to meet divine greatness for healing. What is your mindset toward Jesus?

Mark 8:27-28 (NIV) answers it best: “Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”

Lord Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on us, Amen!

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