"Meanderings in Mark"
Series on Mark, Lesson 42

Blind Bartimaeus - A Picture Of Us All

Read: Mark 10:46-52

Text: (Mark 10:52 KJV) And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

Theme: Bartimaeus pictures the requirements of salvation and discipleship.


Today, let's have some opening discussion about our friend Bartimaeus, and then I'll conclude with some summary comments.

Question - Tell me everything you think Bartimaeus was doing as he sat by the road.

Answers - sitting, begging, listening cf. Luke

Question - Are any of these significant to you? Why?

Question - What happened that changed his life?

Answer - Jesus passed by!

Question - How did he hear about Jesus?

Answer - Casual conversations of passers by? What does this say to us today?

Question - What 2 names does he use for Christ? Are they significant? Why?

Question - Why would the crowd try to silence him?

Question - What is significant about his response to the crowd?

Question - I think the first 4 words of this verse are thrilling. Do you? Why?

Answer - He stopped what He was doing. Everything came to a screeching halt while He dealt w/ Bartimaeus!

QUOTE (Ivor Powell, Mark's Superb Gospel) - "There is reason to believe that even if Christ were creating another world, the cry of a needy soul would cause a temporary postponement in the operation."

Question - What else did Jesus do and why is it significant to you?

Question - How do you suppose Bartimaeus felt when he heard that Jesus was calling him? Any application to today?

Question - What 3 significant actions did Bartimaeus perform here? Applications to today?

Question - What did Bartimaeus want?

Question - What does this tell us about him?

Answer - seeking temporal benefits from Jesus but did not truly understand eternal?

Question - What did Jesus do for him?

Question - What does fact he received salvation as well as physical healing reveal to us?

Answer - faith as mustard seed?

Question - How did Bartimaeus respond after being saved?


I. Bartimaeus had a need.

A. He was blind, and he was poor.

(Both common situations in that place.)

ILLUS. I have been to Jerusalem twice, and on both occasions visited the Mount of Ascension. There is a small structure here, built over top of what is said to be the very place Jesus stood before He ascended. There is a goofy looking rock here, with an impression in it which Catholics have dubbed the very footprint of Jesus. Hmmmm… There is one other interesting feature here. There is a blind beggar that stands just inside the entrance to the area with one hand extended. The first time I was there I didn't consider this particularly significant. The second time, though, he caught my attention. He looked exactly the same, even though several years had passed! I later purchased a souvenir book containing pictures of the Holy Land. When I came to pictures of the Mount of Ascension, sure enough, there he was!

B. Without Christ, you are blind and poor.

(Isa 59:10 KJV) We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noon day as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men.

(2 Cor 4:4 KJV) In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

(Rev 3:17 KJV) Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

II. Bartimaeus turned to the One who could satisfy his need.

A. This included recognizing who Jesus is, intellectually. (vs. 47)

"Son of David" - a messianic term. He recognized Jesus as the Messiah.

1. You can do this, and not be saved.

(For it is only part of the truth about Jesus.)

(James 2:19 KJV) Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

2. However, you CANNOT be saved UNTIL you do this.

B. It also included recognizing who Jesus is, personally. (vs. 51)

"Lord" - lit. RABBOUNI, a personal form of the word RABBI, meaning MY master or MY teacher. Used only one other time by Mary Magdalene in John 20:16.

QUOTE (Tom Malone) - "We won't go to heaven head first, but heart first."

C. It included crying to Him for help.

QUOTE (Ivor Powell, Mark's Superb Gospel) - "The Amplified New Testament renders the parallel passage from Luke 18:37–39, "They told him, Jesus of Nazareth is passing by. And he shouted saying, Jesus, Son of David, take pity and have mercy on me. But those that were in the front, reproved him, telling him to keep quiet; yet he screamed and shrieked so much the more, Son of David, take pity, and have mercy on me." "This translation rests upon the fact that Luke uses two different words. Eboeesen, translated "shout" or "he cried," means "to lift up one’s voice and cry aloud." Ekrazen, the word used in verse 39, and translated "he cried so much the more" is a much stronger word. Thayer says it means "to cry out; to cry aloud, to vociferate particularly of inarticulate cries." It is also used to express "a croak," hence "a scream" or "desperate screech." It suggests "the croak of a frog." The first cry of the blind beggar was born of intense desire; the second by deepening despair. The first was produced by a longing for help; the second by the fear that he might be too late to get what he wanted" (condensed from the author’s commentary, Luke’s Thrilling Gospel, p. 391)."


(Over and over we are told to do this if we would be saved.)

(Jer 33:3 KJV) Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

(Rom 10:13 KJV) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

(James 4:8 KJV) Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

ILLUS. Serpent in the wilderness:

(Num 21:8 KJV) And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.

(2 Cor 5:21 KJV) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

D. It included casting aside anything that might keep him from Christ.

1. His cloak might have tripped him in his attempt to reach Jesus.

2. His cloak might have contained his take for the day… all his wealth and possessions.

Cf. Vs. 22

E. It included running to Him for salvation.

(Luke 12:20 KJV) But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?

(James 4:14 KJV) Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

F. It included publicly confessing Him.

(Jesus knew the answer in verse 51 before He asked, but He wanted a public confession of faith.)

(Rom 10:9 KJV) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

III. Bartimaeus gratefully followed the One who had satisfied His need.

A. His salvation DID NOT depend on "following."

1. Some were "made whole" / saved without any mention of following:


2. Salvation came by FAITH only.

(Rom 1:17 KJV) For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

(Eph 2:8-9 KJV) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

B. His discipleship DID depend on his "following."

1. But it meant leaving behind his former life.

(I.e. cloak, begging)

2. And it meant following even to Jerusalem, which was now just 15 miles away.


QUOTE (Ivor Powell, Mark's Superb Gospel) - "The man in this story had rare eyesight, even before he met Jesus. (1) He saw that his greatest need was to meet Christ. (2) When he heard that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by, he saw that his greatest opportunity had arrived. (3) When the people standing by told him to be quiet, he saw that he could not afford to remain silent. This could be his last opportunity—and it was. Christ was on His way to Jerusalem, and He never returned to Jericho. (4) When Christ told him to "go thy way" he refused to obey, choosing rather to follow Jesus in His way. Christ’s way is always better than ours (condensed from "The Man Who Could See Without Eyes," the author’s commentary, Luke’s Thrilling Gospel, pp. 392–394)."


Text: (Mark 10:52 KJV) And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

Theme: Bartimaeus pictures the requirements of salvation and discipleship.


Please direct QUESTIONs, comments, and submissions to William E. Johnson
Copyright © 1998 William E. Johnson.