As we continue through the Gospel of Mark, we will talk about one of these words – mercy.
Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the 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!”
The first thing I see in this passage is that this man believed something about Jesus. His faith was so strong that a crowd of people couldn’t turn him from his course.
We need to know the whole story. There’s a reason why we’re told that he was the son of Timaeus. The Hebrew word, timaeus, means to be spiritually unclean or defiled. He had carried the stigma of this his entire life.
The crowd looked at him and saw the son of a defiled, worthless father. They couldn’t see any reason that Jesus would bother with someone like him.
What made the difference was that Bart knew the truth about the Lord. It’s manifest in the words that he shouted.
“Jesus, Son of David.” That was the title he used in calling the Lord. That was a Messianic title. It means that Bart was trusting Christ as the Messiah and Savior of Israel. He was coming to Jesus because of who He was, and not just because he wanted a healing.
This blind man had been praying and meditating on the words of Christ. How do I know this? Even the disciples of the Lord only knew He was Messiah because of a revelation from God (Matthew 16:15-17). So, in spite of his blindness, this man was spiritually sensitive.
“Have mercy on me!” This is the key to the whole passage. He wanted to be healed, yet asked for mercy. Our generation has no concept of what this word means in the Bible.
Mercy is the favor God shows to His obedient sons and daughters. It’s the privilege of sonship. For a more detailed teaching on mercy, click here.
What this shows me is that Bart did not choose to identify with his earthly, unclean, father. Instead, he found his place as a son of Abraham. Thus, he had the right to call upon the Messiah as his Lord and Healer. The Lord responded to his cry.
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.
This is very applicable to us in our generation. How do we approach God? Do we come to Him based upon our need?
We should come to Christ on the basis of who He is. Lord, Healer, Deliverer, Redeemer, etc. We should also see ourselves correctly – as a child of God – holy and righteous in His sight. This makes all the difference.
Question: How does your view of Jesus and yourself affect your ability to receive from God?
© 2018 Nick Zaccardi