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The Appeal Which Won’t Be Denied

Jesus stopped Mark 10:49a

Read Mark 10:46-52.  Jesus and His disciples were on their way to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover and, unknown to those who followed Him, where Jesus was to die.  The main road to Jerusalem was through Jericho (15 miles).
            By the road, a blind begger, named Bartimaeus heard the commotion.  On inquiry he found that Jesus was passing.  He began to shout, “Son David, have mercy on me.”  Now understand—the crowds which followed Jesus and those who lined the street included priests and Levites.  So there were bitter enemies of Jesus as well as His followers.  The man got no sympathy from any of them.  In no uncertain terms he was told, “shut up.”
            But this man was desperate and persistent and “he shouted all the more.”  There are many obstacles, roadblocks to Jesus.  Often they are made in the name of order, peace, kindness or some such “positive” good (the priest and Levite in the story of the good Samaritan). But this man, didn’t let anything stand in the way.
            And there are these unforgettable words—“Jesus stopped.”  What a great text?  How can we not be impressed that Jesus turns his attention from the many to the one (an insignificant beggar could easily be lost in a crowd).
            It had little or nothing to do in the scheme of things with Jesus’ great objective 15 miles ahead—“a drop in bucket” someone has said.  But “the cry of need stopped…[Jesus].  It stops all heaven.”1
And then Jesus asks the defining question.  “What do you want?”  Folks when our need is desperate it requires as little as telling Jesus what we want.  And Jesus announces the outcome—‘”Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.”’ (v 52)
            Yes there are roadblocks, obstacles—maybe a dull ritual, a dreary day, a stumbling sermon.  But here’s your chance!
            Jesus is here!
            He will stop at your cry for help!
            What do you want?

1George Buttrick, The Interpreter’s Bible, 499)

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