Bartimaeus’ Call

Mark 10:46-52
46 And they came to Jericho; and as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great multitude, Bartimae′us, a blind beggar, … was sitting by the roadside. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; rise, he is calling you.” 50 And throwing off his mantle he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Master, let me receive my sight.” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.
The key to grasping the message of this scripture is to see how the crowd would have viewed Bartimaeus.  They believed blindness to be evidence of God’s disfavor visiting someone:  punishment for sin.  Believing him to be undeserving of his lot in life, the crowd tried to silence him when he called to Jesus for mercy.
Jesus does the unexpected.  He calls Bartimaeus to himself; He heals him.  The one the crowd would have thought least deserving to receive anything receives uncommon grace.
It comes easily for us to decide who is and who isn’t acceptable to be reached by the mercy of Jesus.  Surprisingly the mercy of Jesus reaches further than we think.

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