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February 7, 2021 12:01 am
Set on going to Jerusalem, Jesus could not be stopped or turned aside--until He heard Bartimaeus, a blind man, calling for Him. Continuing his exposition of the gospel of Mark, today R.C. Sproul considers how this humble man exhibited true servanthood and devotion to the Savior.
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This man was a biker by the road and in Hebrew categories. He was the lowest of the low in terms of his station in life.
In terms of his public exultation and status. Presumably the man in poverty was in bribes, one may assume that by the side of the road for you. The city put up with some giving you money. No one ever truly hoped until Jesus came to them Renewing Your Mind.
Dr. RC school continues a series from the Gospel of Mark with the story of a man in need and a king was a servant last week I got carried away and preached more verses than I had told them I was going to preach on and so this morning I'm going to start instead of verse 42 at verse 46 and concentrate our attention on the healing of the blind man whose name was born in Emmaus Mark chapter 10 verses 46 through 52 last the congregation to stand for the reading of the word of God. Now they came to Jericho and thus he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great multitude, blind Bart Emmaus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road, making and when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth began to cry out and save Jesus son of David, have mercy on me, then many warned him to be quiet, but he cried out all the more, son of David, have mercy on me. So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man saying to him, be of good cheer Rawlings. He is calling and throwing aside his garment. He rose and came to Jesus and so Jesus answered and said to him what you want me to do for you. The blind man said to him, and Rabbani, that I may receive my sight.
And then Jesus said to him, go your way, your faith has made you well and immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road. The inspired and errant infallible word of God revealed by God for us.
Please be seated throughout the synoptic Gospels we read passage after passage incident after incident in which Jesus in his miraculous power heals people of all different sorts of afflictions there something unusual however about this narrative that you've just heard. And that is this that in all of the synoptic Gospels.
Only one person that Jesus healed is named and it is Bart Emmaus. We wonder if it was simply a coincidence or perhaps there was a method to the madness of Mark to include his name and certainly to interject this brief narrative in this journey that Jesus is taking with his disciples from the north.
Now coming to Jerusalem. The setting is Jericho not Old Testament Jericho where Joshua fit the battle and made the walls come tumbling down. But New Testament Jericho, which is situated 17 or 18 miles north of Jerusalem and about 3500 feet below the altitude of Jerusalem and one of the unusual characteristics of Jericho is that it is said by archaeologists that the two cities that are known to have been inhabited by people longer than any two cities on the face of the earth are Damascus and this village of Jericho. If you've ever been to New Testament Jericho. You will immediately see why a village is there, and why it is been there for so many millennia in the middle of the desert as you make your way toward Jerusalem, even from a distance, you will have a site that many thirsty pilgrims were afraid was a moron in the distance coming out of the middle of the desert is this wonderful mass of palm trees that are growing alongside one of the richest and largest oases that you would ever find in the desert and that's the place where this incident took place by the oasis. There in New Testament Jericho and were told that when Jesus came to Jericho and he went out of Jericho with his disciples and this great multitude they saw blind Bart Emmaus.
Susan is further introduced as the son of Timaeus, sat by the road, begging a couple things I want to say about this verse the ball Mark rights for people who are not always aware of Hebrew ancestry, customs or names because to call this man Bart Emmaus and then to follow that with the description, the son of Timaeus is really an exercise in literary redundancy. Every Hebrew who would read this story would know that the name bar, Timaeus, just as Jesus was Jesus bar Joseph to be bar means to be son of and if you're a son of the covenant through the commandment you might have a bar mitzvah in the Jewish community. So Bart Timaeus means son of Timaeus and would think it would be unnecessary to repeat that, except that this is written, presumably for Gentile believers who wouldn't know that etymology. So in any case, Bart Emmaus is is introduced as a blind man who sits along the road, begging not because of the importance of Jericho and where it was situated in relationship to Jerusalem, the merchant roads all came through their so there was great commerce along that road and it was an ideal place for a beggar to situate himself along that pathway. I remember when I was a student in Holland that every time I went into the city of Amsterdam, I had to go by train and you come out of central station there and go over a bridge that is the transition into downtown Amsterdam to the center of the city which is called as you might expect, the dam or the dog. So in any case, every time I came in to the city to go to school. I had to come out of central station go over that ridge and every single time without fail that I went over that bridge.
I passed the blind man who had his hat on the sidewalk to receive AND every single time I pass that man. I dropped some money in his hat.
Well, I left Holland and did not return for four years. Four years later I came back in came out of central station on my way to the center of the town and that same line man was still there with this at collecting all's. Few years later friend of mine from Holland sent me a colored portrait book of all the sites night and day of the city of Amsterdam and right in the middle of this book.
There was a picture of the bridge to central station and better which the bank and on the bridge. I wonder peace is still there. After all these time will obviously that's the kind of person Bart Emmaus one. He was a fixture on the road out of Jericho toward Jerusalem and he sat by the road not seeing anybody but listening for footsteps as people came near, and he would ask for all snow before I go further in this narrative there something else I want to point out about it. I'm a little bit puzzled at first blush as to why Mark interrupts this narrative of this trip that Jesus is taking with his disciples from Caesarea Philippi now approaching within 20 miles of Jerusalem. What's the big deal about this incident which is simply one among a multitude of incidents were Jesus healed people in is that while I can't help but notice that it is situated here in the text immediately following the discussion that Jesus had with his disciples about what real discipleship means it doesn't mean seeking to sit at the right hand or seeking to sit at the left-hand.
But Jesus had explained to his disciples that to be great in the kingdom of God. You had to be the servant of all. And so, most commentators expect that Mark had a reason for introducing us here, giving us the name of this blind man because Bart Emmaus stands in bold relief and contrast to the behavior of the disciples of Jesus, who were squabbling among themselves for status and for rank in the kingdom of God.
This man was beggar by the road and in Hebrew categories. He was the lowest of the low in terms of his station in life.
In terms of his public exultation and status. Presumably the man in poverty was in rags as he sat there hoping against hope, sit somebody would drop a coin into his cup that he might have his next meal or a place to rest for the evening and he hears from his standpoint or sitting point, I should say by the side of the road.
All of the boroughs that's going on with the multitudes, and he gets wind of the news that it's Jesus who is coming and so when he hears footsteps approach. He cries out in a loud voice saying Jesus son of David, have mercy on me in the crowd told him to shut up. They warned him to be quiet, but he cried out all the more.
Listen to what he says, son of David, have mercy on me nobody was going to spill his tongue as he cried out for Jesus to help. What I find fascinating about this appeal from the blind man was the soundness of his theology that without eyes to see he knew who was coming the Messiah, the long promised deliver of Israel who would come out of the family and lineage of David who would be David's greater son who would restore the kingship to David who would be David's son.
And yet at the same time, David's Lord. One of the most rich pregnant messianic titles in all of the Old Testament is this title son of David, but we seem the demeanor of Jesus during this trip we saw last week that the disciples were amazed at the way in which Jesus walked ahead of them. With this resolute determination to go to his destiny of shame, pain, suffering, and ignore me in Jerusalem, that nothing would cause him to look to the left or to the right, but his face was set as a flint, we observe, but now Jesus in his tracks and what makes them stop is the plaintive cry of the Baker who recognizes as the son of Dave.
He hears a man call son of David, have mercy upon me, and so we read in verse 49 that Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called, he tells us sub find out who that is that screaming at me go get that man and bring them to me. I'm not moving another foot toward Jerusalem until I see this person so they called the blind man saying to him, be of good cheer, rise. He is calling you and calling him for him. This would say.
And now he's calling the blind man. One thing for us to call upon the Lord something else when he calls upon us. That's where our true redemption lies so he threw aside his garment stood up and became to Jesus, we could make metaphorical hey out of those words couldn't wait. This is what everybody should do when Jesus approaches should throw aside whatever is hindering them they should stand up and they should come to Jesus. So Jesus answered and said to not listen carefully to the question that Jesus asks him and before I repeated. Let me ask you to remember when was the last time you heard Jesus ask anybody this question. Jesus says to Bart Emmaus what you want me to do for you is a ring about James and John, Jesus will you do what we ask and Jesus said to James and John what you want me to do for you. Member and they said all that one of us could sit at your right hand and the other one could sit at your left hand when you coming to the glory of your kingdom. Listen to Bart Emmaus is answered when Jesus said what you want me to do if you blind man said Rabbani, that I may receive my sight. Not asking for status and not asking for glory. I'm not asking to be exulted in your kingdom. I'm just begging you for something that almost every human being already enjoys what I just want to be able to see it was a simple man for him. Things were not complicated. One driving passion to get out of this impenetrable darkness that defined his life where he groped in danger always dependent on somebody else to take him by the hand and to lead him he couldn't read braille than have guide dogs that have an electronic walking stick to warn him of dangers in his path.
His life was constant darkness, all I want, Lord, is the receive my sight. But that's not exactly the way he said it again and again and again except basically I'm one other occasion in the New Testament when people speak to Jesus and address them. They address him by his title as a teacher. He is a rabbi and so they address him by the title rabbi, but that's not what Bart Emmaus calls when he answers the question that I might receive my side. He says real bona fide same title. Mary gave to Jesus in the garden of resurrection. This slight alteration from the title rabbi means far more than the address professor or teacher being translated. It has an intense personal significance to it. And in reality it is a confession of faith because what Bart Emmaus is saying to Jesus here in this language is my Lord and my master let me see, Mark gives us a portrait of a true disciple who is ragged and poor and blind but who recognizes the Messiah for who he is and what he calls upon him addresses him, my Lord, my master is see Jesus is just taught his disciples about what it means to be a servant to be a servant is to serve a master and where the disciples failed the blind man succeeds and Jesus said, go your way, your faith has made you well and instantly he received his sight. The lights came on one most blind people would want to do would be to run through the city and see all the sites that they that describe them, but that never ceased to their own eyes on instead. As soon as he saw anything he saw Jesus and he followed to choose his Bart Emmaus recognize Jesus for who he really is the son of God Dr. RC Sproul has spun his rich perspective on the story today listening to Renewing Your Mind. I we went and thank you for being with us. Mark's gospel is our focus every Sunday as we make our way.
Verse by verse through this book were flooding rich inside and helpful application. That's why think a resource offer would be a great help to you in your study.
It's Dr. Sproles commentary on the Gospel of Mark, you'll find easy-to-read explanations of every verse in this nearly 400 page hardbound volume. You can go online and request it with your gift of any amount to look at her ministries are web address is Renewing Your Mind.word and you can explore our free app to find additional teaching from Dr. Sproles, you'll discover articles, blog posts and audio and video clips. The leader provide you with hours of biblical instruction and advice, we invite you to download it to your phone or tablet. When you search for linear in your app store for the healing of blind Bart Emmaus is Jesus final miracle before he enters Jerusalem on the road to the cross. I hope you'll join us for Renewing Your Mind.
Next Sunday as we returned to Mark's gospel and a message titled the triumphal entry