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Growing in Grace / Doug Agnew
The Truth Network Radio
November 6, 2022 6:00 pm


Growing in Grace / Doug Agnew

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November 6, 2022 6:00 pm

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If your Bible's with you this morning, turn with me, if you would, to Mark chapter 11, and we're going to be looking at verses 46 through 52. And they came to Jericho, and as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and the great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me.

And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent, but he cried out all the more, son of David, have mercy on me. And Jesus stopped and said, call him. They called the blind man, saying to him, take heart, get up, he's calling you, throwing off his cloak. He sprang up and came to Jesus. Jesus said to him, what do you want me to do for you? The blind man said to him, Rabbi, let me recover my sight. Jesus said to him, go your way, your faith has made you well.

And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way. Bow with me as we go to our Lord in prayer. Heavenly Father, as I come to you in prayer today, I remember one of the most loving, humble servants that I know of in our church, Kitty Clay, who is going through a time of sickness right now and is extremely weak and just needs your touch. I pray, Heavenly Father, that you would have mercy on Kitty, that you would help her to recover, that you would give her strength that's beyond anything she has within herself. And Father, that your loving, healing hand would make her well. Pray for Libby Oldham, Lord, as she has surgery this week, that you would be with her, that that surgery might do its intended work.

She might get her meniscus taken care of and repaired. I pray, Heavenly Father, that you would just be with all those in our congregation, Alvin and so many others who are suffering right now that just need your physical touch and that they might be healed. Heavenly Father, we are looking at a man today who is rejected by his society, who is viewed as being cursed by God, a man who is horribly limited by his inability to see. As we study the passage, we come to realize that what this man lacked in physical sight, he sure had in spiritual sight. Lord Bartimaeus knew that Jesus was more than a prophet, more than a preacher, more than a healer. He was the Messiah, the Christ. So he came to Jesus for help. He refused to be denied.

When the townspeople told him to hush, he got louder. And Lord Jesus, that pleased you. We pray for ourselves today. Help us not to be a scared, intimidated, silent church. Help us to boldly proclaim your truth.

Despite what the consequences might be. Heavenly Father, give us the backbone of Bartimaeus. And then use grace church for your glory. For it is in the precious and holy name of Jesus that we pray, amen.

You may be seated. Jesus set his face steadfastly to go to Jerusalem. Over the last couple of weeks, we have been looking how the prophecy was given of the cross. Jesus would be mocked, he'd be flogged, he'd be spit on, he would be beaten, and then he would be killed on the cross. But we also saw a prophecy concerning Jesus' attitude toward the cross.

And to me, that was absolutely amazing. For in Isaiah chapter 50, 750 years before Jesus was even born, it told us that he would set his face like flint to go to Jerusalem to go to the cross. So here we see that Jesus has done just that.

He knows what the will of God is for him, that it is the cross, and all hell can't stop him from going. So he and the disciples were making their way to Jerusalem. It's the Passover season, and Jesus knows that he is the Passover lamb. Now 1200 years before this, the first Passover took place.

It was the night before the day that Moses led the children of Israel out of their bondage in Egypt. And that night they gathered together, they had the Passover meal. The Passover lamb was slaughtered, and all of them bowed their knee to the Lord.

That was supposed to have gone on. Every year after that, and folks, the Passover lamb's death was a picture of their freedom. So now after 12 centuries of killing Passover lambs, Jesus is headed to Jerusalem because he knows he is the true Passover lamb.

He is the anti-type, the type is the Passover lamb, Jesus is the anti-type, he is the true Passover lamb. Folks, their travel takes them to the famous town of Jericho. When we think of Jericho, what do we think about? We think of the Battle of Jericho. We think of the children of Israel being led by Joshua. He's going around the city six different days, and then on the seventh day they blow the trumpets, they sound the sounds, and all of a sudden, the Lord reaches down from heaven and he crushes the walls of Jerusalem.

And once that is done, the people of Israel come in and they possess the city. That was the old town of Jericho. A new town of Jericho is about a mile south of that, and that's where Jesus is going through.

As hundreds of people now are passing through the city of Jericho, which is one of the largest cities in Israel, and they are headed to Jerusalem in order that they might celebrate the Passover. Jesus is leading the disciples, doing the same thing that they are doing, but Jesus knows that he will be the Passover lamb. So for just a moment, I want you to picture in your mind what Jesus must have been concentrating on as he is making that journey. He knows that in less than a week, they are going to have a trial, and they are going to lie about him, they are going to be false witnesses, and they are going to declare him guilty. He is going to be flogged, beaten with a cat of nine tails whip, 39 lashes across his back. He is going to be nailed to that cross. While he is on that cross, the scripture says that he becomes sin for us.

For every true child of God who has ever lived or will ever live, he becomes sin for us, that our sins might be forgiven completely and absolutely and totally. Now, if I were in Jesus' shoes and I knew that was coming, I don't think I would want to be interrupted. I would not want to hear about anybody else's hurts and sorrows and problems at that point in time.

I would want to be left alone. So thinking of that now, I want us to get into the passage. I got seven points I want to share with you. Point one is the great comparison. Look at me at verse 46, and they came to Jericho, and as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. Now, the comparison that I want to make here is between three groups or three people, and those groups are the religious leaders, the disciples, and then the blind beggar.

The religious leaders were determined to kill Jesus Christ. They were pious, they were self-righteous, they were haughty, they were arrogant, and they were angry. Here was a group of people who wanted people to look at them and say, they are holy and they are devout. They are godly, godly people, and the truth of the matter is they stuck spiritually.

They loved money, they loved material things, they wanted power, they wanted personal recognition. Jesus said that they were like white-washed sepulchers. They were on the outside, superficially cleansed.

On the inside, they were full of dead men's bones. Then there are the disciples. The disciples have been listening to Jesus teach for three years. They have been following Jesus. Every single one of them will suffer greatly for Jesus.

11 of the 12 apostles are going to be martyred for their faith. It's a terrible, terrible situation that they have before them. A tough situation, much persecution, and much tribulation that they are going to go through. They are constantly fighting with ego problems. They are constantly wanting recognition from themselves.

They are constantly wanting to be honored. Jesus has to tell them, the greatest among you will be the servant. He has to say, if any man come to me, he must come to me like a little child, and that means helpless dependence.

But then we have a third person, and that third person is the blind beggar, Bartimaeus. He is sitting there on the road waiting for Jesus to come. He can't see, he can't work, he can't do hardly anything, but he's heard that Jesus is headed his way. So he's at the roadside and he's waiting, hoping and praying that the Messiah will come by him and have time to minister to him.

Now folks, this is history, and what we have recorded for Mark is exactly word by word as it actually really happened. But it is also a picture of where God wants us to be. We look at the blind beggar and we think to ourselves, I don't want to be like him. I don't want to be physically handicapped. I don't want to be a beggar. I don't want to be an invalid. I don't want to be a nobody.

I want to be independent, not dependent. That's what I want for myself, but folks spiritually, this beggar has something that you and I desperately need. All right, that takes us to point to the cry for mercy. Look with me at verse 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. Bartimaeus was a blind beggar, but let me tell you something. He was a blind beggar that knew the Bible.

He knew the Bible. When he heard that Jesus was near, he began to shout and this was his shout. He said, Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me. That term son of David was a messianic title. He was saying that Jesus is the eschatological king who would be coming in the bloodline of David himself. Folks, nobody has made such a profession of faith except maybe Peter before this time. Remember what Peter said? Jesus, you are the Christ, the son of the living God.

What he is saying is very, very similar to that. Let me share with you a few verses that I think old blind Bartimaeus may have taken and memorized. You see, he knew who the Messiah would be and he believed that Jesus was that Messiah. I think he took these passages of scriptures that I'm going to share with you and I think he devoted them to memory.

Listen to what they say. Psalm 72 verses 12 through 14, for he delivers the needy when he calls the poor and him who has no helper. He has pity on the weak and the needy and saves the lives of the needy from oppression and violence. He redeems their life and pressures as their blood in his sight. Isaiah 29, 18 through 19, in the day the deaf shall hear the words of a book and out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind shall see.

The meat shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord. The poor among mankind shall exalt in the holy one of Israel. Isaiah 35 verses 5 through 6, then the eyes of the blind shall be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap like a deer and the tongue of the mute sing for joy, for waters bake forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. Isaiah 61, 1, the spirit of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to those who are bound. This passage of scripture are pumping him up. When he's crying out to Jesus, he's not asking for a doctor that can heal him.

He's not asking for a millionaire that can get him out of poverty. He's saying, Jesus, you are the Messiah. I want to belong to the Messiah, and I want the Messiah to belong to me. Not just for now, but for all of eternity. Folks, listen, this is why I challenge you every single Sunday to learn the Word of God, to memorize the Word of God, to meditate on the Word of God, to trust the Word of God. Every problem that you have in life is addressed in the Word of God. Every trial that you will ever go through is addressed in the Word of God. Blind Bartimaeus would not shut up.

They couldn't make him be quiet. He wouldn't quit because the Word of God drove him to Jesus. Study to show yourself approved unto God a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth. For the Word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints of the marrow, and is a discernment of the thoughts and intents of the heart. All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, instruction, and righteousness, that the man of God might be competent, thoroughly furnished into all good works. Listen, get serious with the Word of God.

Get serious about it. Persecution's coming. If you don't see that, then you're absolutely blind. And if the Word of God is ruling and reigning in your heart, then you cannot fail. Point three, the harsh rebuke. Look at verse 48. In many rebuked him, telling him to be silent, but he cried out all the more, son of David, have mercy on me. The crowd responded in anger and frustration and essentially told the blind man to shut up.

Why? Was it because he was calling Jesus the Messiah? Were they saying, hey, wait a minute, wait a minute, that's over the top. Yeah, we believe that Jesus is a prophet and maybe he's able to do miracles just like Elijah and Moses did, but we don't believe what you believe about him, Bartimaeus, because you believe that he's the Christ. You believe that he's the creator of heaven and earth. You believe he's the king of kings. You believe that he's God. Oh, Bartimaeus, you've gone too far.

We can't go that far, so you just need to shut up. That's what they're saying. Probably that's not all they were thinking, but I think they may have wanted him to hush because they wanted Jesus to minister to them.

I think that's a big part of it. They felt that this blind man was just the dregs of society and they didn't want Jesus wasting his time with people like him when they could be ministering to people like them. It reminds me of what we saw earlier in this same chapter. Parents were bringing their little babies and children to Jesus and they bring the little baby to Christ and they give him to Jesus and he hold them and he put his hand on their head and he blessed them and he'd pray for them.

It was just a wonderful thing, but the disciples came over, they saw what was going on, they went to the parents and say, hey, hey, don't do that. That's bothering Jesus. You're aggravating him. You're frustrating him. He didn't have time to mess with you.

Get on out of here. Disheartened, they were walking away, dejected. Jesus looks at them and the scripture says when he saw what they were doing, that they were walking away, he was indignant.

He said to them and the disciples, suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not for such is the kingdom of heaven. Now the blind beggar is being rebuked just like that, except the crowd's doing the rebuking to him. What does he do? Does he get discouraged and walk away? No, he perseveres.

He gets bolder and he gets louder. He drowns out their rebukes and he continues to shout, Jesus, son of David, Messiah, have mercy on me. Now folks, that's bold because the blind man knew the Jewish theology.

The Jewish theology was that if a person was blind, it was a judgment of God on him. He's not just saying, well, this is wrong. I'm not really being judged because I'm not really that much of a sinner.

He's not saying that. He is saying, I'm not begging for justice because justice is what I deserve. I am begging for mercy because I need my sins forgiven as well as I need my eyes healed. Like the little children that Jesus has been drawn to, the blind man was reacting in helpless dependence. All right, point four is the Savior's call. Look at verse 49. Jesus stopped and said, calling, and they called the blind man saying to him, take heart.

Get up. Jesus is calling you. When Jesus heard the blind man's desperate plea for help, he stopped. Notice here that he didn't correct the blind man from what he said. He didn't correct the blind man from saying that he was the Messiah, the son of God. He wasn't saying that son of David.

He wasn't saying that at all because he knew that what this man said was right. His silence tells us that he is agreeing with the blind man, the response of Jesus seemed to have changed the attitude of the crowd, doesn't it? So they turned to the blind man and say, hey, Jesus is calling you. Why did their attitude change?

My guess is not because all of a sudden they got compassionate because I don't think they did. My guess is they wanted to see a miracle. And they said to the blind man, take heart.

Cheer up. It's interesting, you go through the gospels, that term take heart or cheer up is used seven times in the gospel. Every other times that this is used, Jesus is the one who says it. But here, the crowd says it.

Their attitude has changed. And they give the blind man some encouragement. They say, cheer up, Bartimaeus. Jesus is calling you. Jesus is calling you. All right, takes us to point five, the beggar's response. Look at verse 50. Throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus.

Bartimaeus' response was immediate. He didn't say to himself, well, I probably need to think this thing over. He didn't say, well, you know, I need to consider all my options here. Or maybe there'll be another Messiah one day to come along and maybe he can heal me.

No, no. He takes his cloak and he throws it to the ground and he starts pushing people out of the way and making his way as fast as he can to get to Jesus. Folks would to God, we all had that kind of heart. When we received a command from Jesus, let me give you a few examples. What happens when you as a man or teenage boy walking through a department store and all of a sudden a scandily clad girl walks out in front of you?

What's the command? The Holy Spirit immediately speaks if you're a Christian. Don't look. Turn your eyes. Walk away from that.

Go a different direction. Are you quick to do that? Maybe you're in a situation where you're talking to somebody and you're in this conversation and you're sharing with this person and all of a sudden you realize that person's lost. And the Spirit of God convicts you to share the gospel with them. How quick do you share your testimony? How quick do you take them through a gospel presentation? Maybe you're in a situation where you're a mom or a dad and you've got a child, maybe a teenager who's gotten himself in trouble and is dealing with a bad problem in their life. How quick are you to give in love, guidance and direction to that child from the Word of God?

Not condemning the child, but giving him guidance and loving direction. I don't know about you. I love this picture of Bartimaeus. Here he is, blind man, picture him, his eyes are shut.

He jumps up, he takes that cloak and he's throwing it to the ground. That picture rings my bell. Martha Ferris, I'd love for you to paint us a picture of blind Bartimaeus. I would love to see that picture of here's this blind man, his eyes are closed, the cloak is flying through the air and his legs are up, he's running, he can't see a thing, he's pushing people out of the way. Man, I'd love to see that picture here at our church.

We'll put it in the library, put it in the vestibule. As a reminder to every single one of us, Christians don't dawdle. Christians don't wait if Jesus is calling you, then run to keep his command.

Point six, the Savior's healing. Look at verses 51 through 52a, and Jesus said to him, what do you want me to do for you? And the blind man said to him, Rabbi, let me recover my sight. And Jesus said to him, go your way, your faith has made you well. So Jesus responds differently than the crowd responds. Jesus didn't tell the blind man to shut up. Jesus shows deep kindness and mercy to him, and he says to the blind man, what do you want me to do for you? I think what Jesus is doing here is building this man's faith. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you. James said, you have not because you ask not. Jesus said to this man, what can I do for you? What do you want me to do for you?

Does that spark something in your memory? It should, because two sermons ago, we saw it in same chapter here, chapter 10 and verse 36, two of the disciples of Jesus came to him, and they came with a request. You know, James and John and Jesus says to them, what do you want me to do for you?

And what did they say? They puffed out their chest, said, Jesus, we want to sit on your right hand, your left hand and your kingdom. We want you to honor us. We want you to make much of us. We want to be exalted over and above the other, other disciples.

Bartimaeus did the exact opposite. He didn't say, I want glory for myself. He didn't say, I need you to make much of me.

He didn't say, I want you to promise me that I'll be exalted in your kingdom. He said, Jesus, I've got a problem. I can't see. My world is darkness and I need you to help me regain my sight. The beggar made his request. He said, Rabboni, let me regain my sight.

Here's where I've got a problem with the ESV. The ESV uses the word rabbi instead of Rabboni. Should be Rabboni. You remember somebody else that called Jesus Rabboni? It was Mary Magdalene and she was there at the at the empty tomb of Jesus. And Jesus turns around, she finally realizes that it's him and she says Rabboni.

The word rabbi means teacher, the word Rabboni means teacher and master. And it included in that idea is this idea of deep love and sweet appreciation. So he said, Lord, that I might regain my sight. So what that tells us is that at one time he could see. So he knows what a beautiful sunset looks like. He knows what a peaceful lake looks like. He knows what the loving eyes of a child look like.

He knows that. This man missed all that blessing and he's saying to Jesus, Jesus, what I want is for you to give me my sight back. All right, that takes us to point seven, the beggar's commitment. Look at verse seven. And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road. Jesus commends Bartimaeus for his faith.

Why? Because Bartimaeus knew that Jesus had the answer and he persevered. The whole crowd was telling him to shut up and he would not shut up. He kept asking, he got louder and louder and louder. He was determined that he was going to be heard by Jesus. In the Sermon on the Mount, when Jesus said, asking, it shall be given to you, seeking, you shall find, knocking, it shall be open to you. All those verbs are written in what's called the continuous tense in the Greek.

It means keep on asking, keep on seeking, keep on knocking. And that's what Bartimaeus did. The result was a good one. He got his sight back, but he also did something else. Scripture says he followed Jesus. Now what could he have done? He could have said, thank you, Jesus, and then run home to be with his family. He could have said, thank you, Jesus, and run out to a mountain and looked at the sunset and admired its beauty. He could have gone down to the Jordan River and gone fishing. He didn't do any of that.

What did he do? He followed Jesus. All right, let me ask you something, where was Jesus going? Jesus is going to Jerusalem. What's going to happen in Jerusalem? Jesus is going to be crucified. He's already told the disciples that this is going to happen over and over again.

The Pharisees and the religious leaders have not made any indication of why they shouldn't do that. They're going to nail him to a cross. They're going to kill him.

And that's what they plan to do. They've told everybody about it. So it's a known fact that Jesus is going to the cross.

Let me ask you something. Do you think at this point in time that Bartimaeus understood what the cross was all about? That Bartimaeus understood down in his heart that when Jesus died on that cross, he was going to be our propitiation. He was going to appease the wrath of God against our sin, that he was going to be our substitutionary atonement, that he was going to die in order that he might take our sin and give us his righteousness, that he was going to be our redemption, that he was going to ransom us out of the slave market of sin. I don't know if he understood all that or not. I'm not sure if he understood that.

I know this. He knew that he was the Messiah and he knew that there was a very special passage in Isaiah 53 that was written about the Messiah and what would happen to him. In Isaiah chapter 53, written 750 years before Jesus was even born, I want you to think carefully about this beautiful picture of Jesus. He is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from him. He was despised and we did not esteem him. Surely he was born our grace and carried our sorrows. Yet we would esteem him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted. He was wounded for our transgressions.

He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement for our peace was upon him and by his stripes we were healed. All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned every one to his own way and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth.

He was led as a lamb to the slaughter and as a sheep before it shears his silent he opened not his mouth. Judy Andrews gave me a book by Joel Beakey titled Contagious Christianity. I read it while I was on vacation a couple weeks ago and providentially, by the providence of God, this whole chapter in that book on Bartimaeus.

And I thought, wow, God did this. And I wanted to close the message today with a statement that Joel Beakey had to say about Bartimaeus. So Bartimaeus followed Jesus, glorifying God. Bartimaeus did not just follow Jesus, he glorified him. As he followed, he glorified Christ. He could not remain silent even if his friends rejected him, Pharisees despised him, Sadducees threatened him, none of that was important. Bartimaeus could only speak to others about how wonderful Jesus was.

Can't you picture him talking to the Pharisee on his right, on his left? Whoever would listen, let me tell you how amazing Jesus is. He is the long awaited Messiah, the Son of God, the Lord of glory.

He is my Rabboni. I will be his willing slave for the rest of my life. I was a beggar by the wayside. But now Jesus has done everything for me. He opened my physical eyes, he opened my spiritual eyes. I am a new creation. I have no idea why he did this because I do not deserve it. But I now have joy, purpose, and meaning in life. If he can do this for me, he can do it for anyone, he can do it for you.

Just cry out to him and go to him as you are. He will save you. Amen?

Amen. Let's pray. Lord, I pray that every child of God in this building has been humbled today. We have seen you answer a prayer for a man that had nothing and was viewed as nothing by his society. Help us to quit worrying about what our culture thinks and just get really serious about what you say in your word and what you will for us as your children. Lord, as we get ready to participate, celebrate in the Lord's Supper, I pray that you would prepare our hearts. Lord, you said that in the Lord's Supper we would experience your presence. I pray that that might be true for every child of God in this building today that we might experience your presence. Lord, it's in the precious and holy name of Jesus that I pray, amen.
Whisper: small.en / 2022-11-06 17:34:04 / 2022-11-06 17:41:06 / 7

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