November 3, 2010
For what reason did the people rebuke Bartimaeus? Jesus was renowned for his power to heal. Why, then, did they rebuke this blind man for calling out to the Son of David? It may have been because it was just as Jesus was leaving the city; to avoid back-tracking, the crowd sharply told him to be quiet.
The blind were undoubtedly considered lowly in this society; the followers probably felt the same remorse for their sharpness as one would for kicking a rabid animal.
Notice that in verse 46 it states that it was a large crowd following Jesus. Why didn’t the blind man know it was Jesus until the Master was nearly out of the city? The reason may be because of his lowly position in the people’s eyes. He was probably ignored by almost everyone until he found out it was the Messiah and started making a ruckus.
Do I have people in my life who I ignore until they annoy me?
What probably hurt the Master’s heart was that many of his followers were merely following him physically to Jerusalem, not really getting the principle of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. They did not understand what it meant to truly follow Him.
Despite Bartimaeus’ “lowly” position, Christ asked him the most subservient of questions: “What do you want me to do for you?”
Jesus asked the same question to the sons of Zebedee in Mark 10:35-40.
Sandwiched between these two questions is Mark 10:42-45, the heart of Christian servanthood.
The heart behind Jesus asking, “What do you want me to do for you?” to the sons of Zebedee and to Bartimaeus is servitude. Whoever wants to become great among you must be the servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Though it would have been easier just to keep on walking, to be influenced by the crowd, to ignore the blind like so many others have, Jesus did not.
The saint must follow Jesus in more than just being a part of the crowd following the Messiah up to Jerusalem. They could not even show love to one poor blind man! The saint must be ready at all times to put aside his own agenda, his own trek to Jerusalem, to help others with theirs.
Honor others by readily asking, “What do you want me to do for you?” For even the Son of Man…
Abba, make us into servants of men, that we may truly be sons of God. Teach us how to put aside our agendas for the sake of others, serving within the realm of our capabilities.