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author on October 21st, 2009

Bartimaeus was blind and a beggar in Jericho. He had little hope at a time when blindness was considered a punishment – either for his own sin or for the sin of his parents (John 9:2John 9:2
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2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

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). It may have been true (Deut. 5:9Deut. 5:9
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9 you shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them; for I, Yahweh, your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and on the fourth generation of those who hate me;

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), or may have been superstition based on a poor interpretation by the Pharisees and teachers of Moses’ law.

When Bartimaeus learned that Jesus was passing by with a large crowd, he cried out for Jesus to have mercy on him (Mark 10:47Mark 10:47
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47 When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out, and say, “Jesus, you son of David, have mercy on me!”

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). The passage says, “many rebuked him and told him to be quiet” (Mark 10:48Mark 10:48
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48 Many rebuked him, that he should be quiet, but he cried out much more, “You son of David, have mercy on me!”

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). One must wonder why they would be so selfish. They’re accompanying the great healer – some in this crowd may themselves  have benefited from Jesus’ healing power. Bringing him to Jesus would take one more beggar off the roadside – yet they instead tried to shut him up.

How selfish we become in our abundance. How protective we are or our “sources”. Who could take control of Jesus, who could hide Him from a perishing world?

Instead of meekly obeying those who rebuked him, Bartimaeus cried out “Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:48Mark 10:48
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48 Many rebuked him, that he should be quiet, but he cried out much more, “You son of David, have mercy on me!”

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And Jesus did.

Jesus stopped and said, “Call him” (Mark 10:49Mark 10:49
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49 Jesus stood still, and said, “Call him.” They called the blind man, saying to him, “Cheer up! Get up. He is calling you!”

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). When Bartimaeus was brought to him, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51Mark 10:51
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51 Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “Rhabboni, Rhabboni is a transliteration of the Hebrew word for “great teacher.” that I may see again.”

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Bartimaeus’ determination – his persistent faith – had been rewarded. “Rabbi, I want to see.” His straightforward and blunt request was immediately granted in kind. “Go. Your faith has healed you” (Mark 10:52Mark 10:52
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52 Jesus said to him, “Go your way. Your faith has made you well.” Immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

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When Jesus healed people, implicit in the healing was the forgiveness of sin. Maybe Moses’ law was accurately interpreted by the Jewish teachers of the day and there was and explicit relationship between sin and disabilities. Because we’ve seen one of the reasons they plotted against Jesus was because they thought it was blasphemy to forgive sins (Read Mark 2:1-12Mark 2:1-12
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2 1 When he entered again into Capernaum after some days, it was heard that he was in the house. 2 Immediately many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even around the door; and he spoke the word to them. 3 Four people came, carrying a paralytic to him. 4 When they could not come near to him for the crowd, they removed the roof where he was. When they had broken it up, they let down the mat that the paralytic was lying on. 5 Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” 6 But there were some of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this man speak blasphemies like that? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 Immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you reason these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to tell the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven;’ or to say, ‘Arise, and take up your bed, and walk?’ 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— 11 “I tell you, arise, take up your mat, and go to your house.” 12 He arose, and immediately took up the mat, and went out in front of them all; so that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”

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Many in our world today will tell us to be quiet when we cry out for answers to our suffering. Those who are persistent will be healed – and not just physically. Here we learn that the real healing brings us into a new relationship with God – eternal life – which is only given by persistent faith in Jesus Christ.