Jesus Is Calling
Divine Interpreter, make Your ancient Word fresh to me today. May it speak incisively and clearly to me now.
Read MARK 10:46-52
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
Take time to focus on the words of Jesus (49,51,52). Imagine they are spoken personally to you. Reflect on how you will answer his question in v. 51.
One of the temptations Bible readers face is to begin and end with analysis. Too often, we don’t take time to enter imaginatively into the biblical story. In this we reflect our culture which “is competent to implement almost anything and to imagine almost nothing” (Walter Brueggemann). Today’s graphic narrative can help us to put this right. Why not imagine you are Bartimaeus? Then follow the key points of the story: (1) You shout out to gain Jesus’ attention; (2) the crowd doesn’t like you and tells you to shut up; (3) you shout all the more; (4) Jesus stops; (5) Jesus says “Call him”; (6) the crowd now encourages you; (7) you jump to your feet, throw off your beggar’s cloak and come to Jesus; (8) Jesus asks you what you want; (9) you tell him and he heals you; (10) you decide to join Jesus on the journey to Jerusalem.
Now, reflect on the background. (1) Jericho is a beautiful town rebuilt by Herod the Great as his winter capital. (2) The large crowd is composed of pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem for Passover. (3) “Son of David” is a popular title in Judea for the Messiah. (4) Blind people were illiterate; Bartimaeus would have learned this title from listening to others reciting it. (5) The people regard Jesus as a celebrity, someone too important for a blind beggar to bother. (6) The appeal for “mercy” may have been a polite request for a coin; perhaps this is why Jesus asks Bartimaeus to be specific (51). (7) “Rabbi” here translates a term of respect. For “Reverend,” Bartimaeus said, “Very Reverend.”
Tell Jesus your answer to his question: “What do you want me to do for you?”
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your attentiveness to me. You listen, You understand, You respond. Help me to trust Your perfect wisdom in Your responses to me.
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