In the portion of Mark’s Gospel that we read at our recent Joint Communion Service, we found Jesus surrounded by his disciples and curious followers, but his attention is drawn to the shouts of a blind man who recognises a special power and presence near him. In his sermon Eddie Sykes commented:
The others want to silence Bartimaeus, but Jesus calls him to draw near, and asks, “What do want me to do for you?” Consistent with the high priest image in Hebrews, we too discover that Jesus can do something for us. This is not a “I want a million pounds” kind of request; it is more a “Jesus, please help me to follow you more faithfully”, or “Jesus, help me to understand what you want to do with my life” type of request.
Do we see Jesus able to use us in whatever situation we are in?
Some people hide behind busy schedules or justifications of their own creation as excuses for only living what might be termed ‘half-lives’.
Sometimes we really do not want the freedom to serve God openly because what lies ahead is unknown. Bartimaeus gives us inspiration and courage for the changed outlook that such a kind of freedom requires.
It’s not so much that we’re afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it’s that place in between that we fear … it’s like being between trapezes. There’s nothing to hold on to.” (Marilyn Ferguson)
You can read the whole of Eddie’s sermon at this link.
The illustration of “Lord, that I might see!”, a 1970 sculpture in Matyas Church, Budapest, comes from “Art in the Christian Tradition”, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville.