In Luke chapter 18 and verse 31, Jesus Christ takes his 12 disciples aside and tells them that we are going up to Jerusalem. Jesus is leading the way, as Passover approaches, but this Passover will be like no other Passover.
Jesus always leads the way, but watch where Jesus is going. Jesus knew what was going to happen. Luke tells us that he resolutely set his face – 9 verse 51 – to go up to Jerusalem. He is determined and he will not deviate. His mind is firmly fixed.
The crisis of the cross looms. It is a fundamental point. The disciples are apprehensive when Jesus explains what he is going to experience. In Mark chapter 10, Jesus tells us WHY – to give His life as a ransom for many – to buy people out of their lost fallen sinful condition. Jesus had come to save men from their sins, and Jesus knew that He had come to die. The ‘wise men’ who visited Bethlehem 33 years earlier indicated this, by their gifts.
This distinguishes Jesus Christ from the ‘founder’ of all other religions, or communities of faith, as we hear frequently mentioned today. Jesus Christ is unique.
The purpose of ‘other religions’ is perhaps to help man live a better life and be an example. Jesus’ mission and purpose was to die and be a sacrifice – our Passover Lamb – 1 Corinthians 5 verse 7 – shedding His precious blood to cleanse men from sin – and offer forgiveness – through repentance and faith.
Jesus reminds his men of their priority: Jerusalem and the Cross. If Jesus had lost sight of the Cross for a moment – then his entire ministry would have changed – and it would be the same with us if we ever lose sight of the Cross.
If we ever think that we can do things our way, if we ever think that there are other things more important, if for a moment we think that we should focus on other matters, instead of the Cross of Jesus Christ, then we are in trouble – spiritually. talking.
If we ever think that we can avoid suffering, persecution, and pain in some way, if we ever think that we can get busy doing things for God and relegate Jesus to an inferior position, then we have been wrong.
If we ever think that we can work things out politically, socially, and financially, and we forget our need for forgiveness and cleansing through the Blood of Jesus Christ, then we have done vital, important, and critical things terribly wrong.
It is good to get to what is at the very heart of our Christian faith.
Jesus Christ holds up the cross before his chosen men, and in doing so, he quotes the Scriptures: “All that the prophets wrote about the Son of Man will be fulfilled.” I will be handed over to the Gentiles, that is, to those who were not Jews, to the Romans, they will mock me, they will insult me, they will spit on me, they will scourge me, they will kill me, and Jesus warns them what to expect, and us. also – and three days after all that I will get up – verses 31 to 33.
Jesus makes everything so clear as to what was going to happen. He places the cross before his men, but in the perspective of the resurrection, in the light of his resurrection from the dead. Jesus always spoke specifically about experiencing suffering.
Jesus always spoke about sacrifice before success, tribulation before triumph, death before resurrection, sowing before harvest, and no disciple understood it. Jesus could not have been clearer, clearer, simpler, but a man can only understand Jesus and the Cross when the Father reveals it.
God has to come and open the blind eyes and say “SEE”.
God comes and tells us – Look and see what all this means – My Son dying for you – suffering for you – shedding His Blood to wash you – rising to guide you – to guide you – to give you life – to heal you – to use it – to do May your life be fruitful and profitable. Can you see all that? You can?
We often have to listen to people who say, “I can’t see that, I just don’t see the meaning of it, I can’t see what all of that will accomplish. I don’t see things the way you see them” and after all, I have my own opinion “.
After being with Jesus for three years, it seemed that so little was being accomplished.
He needed a miracle, and he needs a miracle today, see it clearly, and let’s be aware of that when we talk to people.
Everything was hidden from them. Oh, it was revealed – the miracle happened – but there is a lesson we can learn here for our comfort.
God hides things sometimes – truths can be so dark for a while – and there are times when we want to say, “Why can’t she see that? Why doesn’t she realize that?”
Immediately after this conversation, they approached Jericho, and a blind man was sitting begging. Marcos tells us that his name is Bartimaeus. A noise was heard and Bartimaeus asked what was happening – and some said – Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.
He called Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me. Those leading this procession gave the blind man a row – Shut up – Sh! Sh! – Don’t make that noise. Were they ashamed? They were annoying? Did they consider Jesus their property, just for themselves, for their procession in Jericho? And why should this beggar occupy Jesus’ precious time?
He would yell for mercy and they would say “Sh! Sh!” He screamed even louder, his sight dependent on his encounter with Jesus, Jesus Christ the King.
It must have been quite loud, whose voice was Jesus going to hear? This was NOT the setting for a cure. Jesus was not upset or concerned about the setting.
How big is your need sometimes? What do you really need from Jesus?
Is there something that only Jesus Christ can give?
Is there anything you need to know Jesus about?
Blind Bartimaeus sowed a seed, sowed a petition, sowed a prayer, and soon, for him, there would be a HARVEST.
To the crowd, he was just a nuisance, a plague, a beggar. Some people may think of it as those times, does it matter? There comes a point where we no longer have to think about what people might think of us.
This was the last time that Jesus would visit Jericho, and for Jesus, Bartimaeus was someone in need, and Jesus always has time for the person in need, who really needs it.
Verse 41 – Jesus asks – What do you want me to do for you? Well Jesus, isn’t that obvious enough? Sometimes Jesus wants us to spell it. Blind Bartimaeus’s need is so desperate that he is neither afraid nor ashamed to go public. When we come in sheer need, Jesus comes in sheer grace, mercy, love, and power.
The Power of the Kingdom flowed. He was given the sight of the Kingdom. The result was Kingdom discipleship.
The Kingdom of God had made its way into Bartimaeus’ life.
Jesus meets the need of this blind man and, in a sense, this blind man could see more than all the others put together. She had faith to see that Jesus could heal her sight.
What a harvest of that prayer seed, that prayer request, that cry of prayer.
Verse 43. He continued to follow Jesus. He continued to praise God. He was open to change. His life would now take on a whole new shape, a different shape.
The people who were present saw the miracle and also praised God.
When people get up and praise God, that is always meaningful, meaningful.
What a harvest, what a miracle, and it all started with someone who sounded like a nuisance, but cried out for mercy for the right Person.
Bartimaeus wanted to see, and he didn’t care what it sounded like, if it would allow him to regain his sight.
He was real, he was desperate, determined and persistent.
When Jesus met his need, he followed Jesus; Jesus would never go down this path again, and when the opportunity arose, Bartimaeus acted immediately.
Another man was about to radically change his life too, my friend Zacchaeus, read on in the next chapter, with an open heart and mind.
When Jesus touches you, blesses you, speaks to you, heals you, forgives you, feeds you, calls you, follow him, all the way, to Calvary and beyond.