What Burden Would You Cast Off?

Our small group has been working through Mark’s Gospel, verse by verse, for several months. I keep learning how much I miss in apparently familiar stories.

This week we looked at the story in which Jesus heals a blind beggar named Bartimaeus. I’ve read and heard this text many times and never noticed four words that might just be the heart of the whole interaction.

Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”

So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.

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

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

“Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. Mark 10:46-52

“Throwing his cloak aside…”

A man’s cloak was an important garment. It was heavy to protect against late night and early morning chills. It would have probably been comparatively expensive. As a blind man, and a beggar, Bartimaeus would have valued and likely kept his cloak close. Casting it aside in the midst of a crowd of strangers was a huge act of…what?

Bartimaeus wanted to get to Jesus. He wanted that more than anything. He wanted to get to Jesus so badly that he was willing to cast off anything that got in his way.

He was almost the opposite of the rich young ruler who asked Jesus what he needed to do to inherit eternal life. (Mark 10:46-52) Jesus told him, and he walked away because the sacrifice seemed too great.

Bartimaeus didn’t wait to be told. He took the risk, tossed away what he valued most, and came to Jesus. Symbolically, he cast aside his old identity for the opportunity to follow Jesus.

Bartimaeus didn’t ask about minimum entrance standards. Once he knew Jesus was there, he was all in.

I keep picturing myself sitting beside a road, and suddenly Jesus walks by.

I can’t help wondering what I’d be willing to toss aside–and what I wouldn’t–for the opportunity to go with Him.

How about you?

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog here
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article ! Dixon
Copyright 2008-2012 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.