Today’s author is Prince of Peace member, Steve Sveom.

Mark 10:32-52

Photo by Dilip Parikh on Unsplash

The gospel of Mark begins: “The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”   Those who are closest to Jesus, the disciples, don’t seem to get it.  Maybe we can identify with that.

In the gospel there are two healings of the blind.  The first is recorded in Mark 8:22-26.  Jesus put saliva on the man’s eyes and laid his hands on him.  The man indicated that he could see people but they were like trees walking.  He sees a little bit, but not clearly.  So Jesus placed his hands on his eyes again and the man saw everything clearly.

Following this healing, incomplete at first, but then completed, Jesus explained to the disciples, three times, that he would die and that there would be a cost to him to complete his purpose.  He also explained that there would be a cost to disciples who followed him.  Each explanation is followed by a misunderstanding of the disciples.  Peter tried to dissuade him; the disciples argued about who was the greatest; and, James and John asked for positions of honor and the other disciples got angry about it.  The disciples were told the truth but didn’t get it.  Their vision was only partial.  It was not complete at first.

The story in Mark 10 tells of a healing of blind Bartimaeus.  This healing was completely effective and Bartimaeus saw clearly.  Immediately after this healing, Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday for his final week.  Indeed, with all the misunderstandings of the disciples, Jesus’ passion and death revealed his true nature.  His purpose was fulfilled only by his passion and death – the costly giving of himself for the sake of the world.  We have the benefit of looking at the story of Jesus completely.  Yet, we may well see Jesus incompletely in ways that are like seeing trees walking.  But, this healing of Bartimaeus gives hope of seeing Jesus clearly.  

On those occasions when we seek greatness instead of humility or positions of power instead of service to others, we are only seeing in part.  But, as Paul notes in 1 Corinthians 13 – “now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.”  During this season, I pray that we will be like Bartimaeus, recipients of clear vision into the mission of Jesus in passion and death and our call to discipleship.

Prayer: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”  “Let me see again.”  Give us vision to see your work of grace and embrace your way of the cross.  Amen.