ISSL Reflections September 19 2021 Mark 10:46–52 Post 3

Once more let’s return to our Scripture passage and take time to notice the movement of the crowd, Jesus and Bartimaeus.

Mark 10:46-52

They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.” So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.

“Jesus stood still and said, ‘Call him here.’”

Despite the crowd’s attempt to get past the shouting beggar Jesus stops and pays attention to him. Not only pays attention but asks him what he wants from him.

I wonder how much conversation Bartimaeus had each day with those that came by him. I wonder who paid attention to him, that is, really gave their attention to him other than noticing he was blind and was asking for help.

I have the sense that Jesus in the moments recounted here, gave his full attention to Bartimaeus. He asks him what he wants rather than making assumptions about what Bartimaeus needs. He sees Bartimaeus, he listens to him and he acknowledges Bartimaeus’ “faith.”

Bartimaeus is no longer a blind beggar sitting by the roadside but is a man who has sight and sees his way to follow Jesus. His shouts for attention have been replaced by walking with Jesus “on the way.”

I wonder if he knew where Jesus was headed. Maybe it didn’t matter to him.

Could this be what “wordless” praise looks like?

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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