Notes on Mark 10:46-52
(1) The blind man doesn’t have a name. He is called Bartimaeus, which is literally, the son of Timaeus. We know his father’s name but not his. Likewise when he hears that Jesus of Nazareth is passing by, he begins crying out, addressing Jesus by His ancestry, “Son of David, have mercy on me.”
(2) Remember the parable of the good Samaritan? “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead” (Luke 10:30). A priest passed by, a Levite passed by, but a good Samaritan “came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him” (Luke 10:33). At the end of the parable, Jesus asked the lawyer who had been tempting Him, “‘Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?’ And he said, ‘He that shewed mercy on him.’ Then said Jesus unto him, ‘Go, and do thou likewise'” (Luke 10:36-37). Now here is Bartimaeus outside Jericho crying, “Son of David, have mercy on me.”
(3) We see also the application of the earlier Scripture passage (Mark 10:35-45), where Jesus had contrasted worldly leadership with kingdom leadership. Many in the crowd told the blind man to be quiet: surely Jesus is too important to be troubled, too busy to attend to a blind beggar by the roadside. But Jesus — who had just taught, “Whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all” — stood still and commanded him to be called. Jesus served. Suddenly the people who had been ordering Bartimaeus to be silent are telling him to be of good comfort. What an influence one person’s example has on others.
(4) The blind man asked for a miracle. “Lord, that I might receive my sight.” His faith was already evident in his recognition of Jesus as the Son of David, that is, the Christ — and as Lord.
Sometimes the physical lags behind the spiritual: Bartimaeus could not yet see with his physical eyes his Messiah whom he could already see with the eyes of faith. Can we see Riley Shadle walking? (Riley recently suffered a spinal cord injury while playing in a high school football game.) Do we believe Jesus came “to open the blind eyes” (Isaiah 42:7)? Do we believe that “with His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5)? Do we then have the faith to ask for a miracle? Isaiah 53:1-5. Do we have the faith to break through the roof, like the people in Mark 2:1-4, and carry Riley Shadle to Jesus?
(5) “And Jesus said unto him, ‘Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole.'” I love how Jesus sets him at liberty: “Go thy way.” Christianity is not a have-to but a get-to religion, not a religion rooted in man’s works but in God’s grace. “And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.”
(6) An alternate translation is, “Go thy way; thy faith hath saved thee.” Jesus still saves whosoever repents of their sins and puts their faith in Him as the only begotten Son of God. He saves His people from their sins and gives them eternal life. He paid the ransom for sin on the cross at Calvary, and He proved His power over death when He rose from the grave three days later.
The Gospel invitation still stands: “What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?” If you have not yet received Jesus as your Savior and Lord, and you believe God has raised Him from the dead, now is the time to give your heart to Him, put your trust in Him, confess Him. Now is the time for you to pray, “Hosanna”: “Save now.”
If you have already received Jesus as your Savior and Lord, please pray for Riley Shadle to walk again.