Synopsis of Sermon 5/17/09
Delivered by Bishop Walker III
46 And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. 48 And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me. 49 And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee. 50 And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus. 51 And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. 52 And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way. Mark 10:46-52 (KJV)
It doesn’t matter what kind of title you have or what kind of predicament you may find yourself in. God always has time for you. God is concerned about those who feel left out. When God responds to us during the season of feeling left out, it can generate the response “even me”. As busy as God is, to know that he took time out of his busy schedule to take care of us can literally blow our minds. Has God ever blown your mind? Lots of us have learned not to take God for granted. Every time we wake up and God gives us another day, we are thankful and don’t take it for granted. It is often hard to comprehend this goodness that God displays.
In the text we discover a story about man named blind Bartimaeus. There were large crowds of people following Jesus, yet he had time to stop for one person specifically. That person was blind Bartimaeus. Jesus is aware of your needs in the midst of everything else that is going on. You can be in need and others might not pick up on it, but God knows all of your needs. God is about to give you the greatest turn around in your life. This is the season of the rejected. Because of your faith and ability to endure, you are on the verge of the greatest breakthrough of your life.
There are Lessons that we can learn from blind Bartimaeus:
I. Captive of his condition
1. Blind Bartimaeus is blind. This blindness is a condition. He has never seen the sun or stars in the sky. There are some speculations on how Bartimaeus became blind. There are some things that we can look at that may have caused his blindness.
a. Perhaps he has cataracts (blockage in the eyes). Without treatment, cataracts can progress until you eventually can’t see. This poses a question for us. What is blocking you from seeing? It could be relationships, friends, work and many other things.
b. It could have been glaucoma which is unrelieved pressure in the eye that causes blindness. Some people can’t see God, because they are under too much pressure. It might not look they are under pressure, because they always show up for church and other related functions. The truth is most of can testify that even though you show up, it is hard to see when you are under pressure.
c. Maybe it was a Traumatic Experience. Many people have suffered brain damage caused by traumatic experiences that happened early in life which led to blindness. Traumatic experiences can cause you not to see what you are supposed to see.
d. Perhaps he was just blind. The reason can’t be pin pointed. He simply couldn’t see. Just like this, there are those that don’t why, but they just know they can see what God wants them to see.
2. No matter what your issue is, we plan for you to leave this document here today, seeing! What the blind man has is Lack of vision and the bible says where there is a lack of vision, the people perish.
Without Vision, we lack:
a. Proper perspective- now you can’t see clearly what God is doing in your situation. Then you allow people to define your situation for you.
b. Can’t process information correctly. Now our perspective is off. You can’t process information correctly and as a result you lose sight of our possibility.
c. Lose sight of possibility. Without vision, we only see our right now and not our not yet. When you vision is right, you see yourself healed and you see yourself delivered. You don’t live in your right now, you live in your not yet.
3. Bartimaeus’ condition right now is the fact that he is blind. He has become captive to his condition. He has become a victim that is begging on side of the road. He is depending on other people to take care of him. He is living beneath his potential.
a. Posture-Just because you are blind, it doesn’t mean something is wrong with your legs. Bartimaeus is sitting on the side of the highway. He has become comfortable in a jacked up situation. No matter how bad your crisis, don’t become comfortable in it. Something should rise up in you and say, “I can’t become comfortable here!” You can’t stay there too long.
b. Placement-What is interesting about his placement is he is on the side of the highway. He is at a position where there is constant traffic. People are constantly passing him by. This is how you become captive to your condition. Blindness has caused you not to see and now you have become comfortable not seeing life clearly. Life passes you by while you are sitting on your blessed assurance waiting for someone to hook you up. Everyone is pursuing dreams and you are still sitting around. If you stay here you will end up in a pitiful predicament.
c. Pitiful predicament-the blind mind is found in this pitiful predicament as a result of sitting. Now he is begging, waiting for someone to feel sorry for him. This is not the season to be having a pity party. Everybody is going through something and you are going to have to make a shift and start reaching for something greater. You ought to declare that this will be your last time in the captive position in this messed up place.
4. Bartimaeus is now blind and we don’t know why. He could have had the things we named previously that could have caused his blindness. On the other hand we know he is on the side of the road sitting. He is comfortable and he’s allowing people to pass him by and he is in a pitiful place. The issue is he heard Jesus was passing by. The people were trying to keep him from crying out to Jesus. We can take comfort in knowing the Lord always has compassion for us even in the midst of criticism.
II. Compassion in the midst of criticism
1. The more they told the blind man to shut up the more he talked 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. 48 And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
2. It is one thing to go through life depending on people, but when you are let down by people, you put them in a position to disappoint you. Stop putting people in place where they weren’t ordained to be. We should be leaning and depending on God.
3. He has become vocal. The man heard Jesus was passing by. Interestingly, he was blind, but he heard Jesus coming by. It’s amazing that when you lose one sense, another sense intensifies. The blind man can’t see, but his hearing has become greater. It is interesting to know when you go through a season of blindness; you will hear God like never before. Sometimes God won’t let you see, so you can hear him better. Why does he do this? It is because faith comes by hearing. The devil doesn’t want you to hear, because he knows you will do something about your situation. He knows if you hear that you can do all things that strengthens me or in all things you are more than a conquer or weeping might endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning or that thing God has formed in you, he shall perform… or no weapons that is formed against you shall prosper, something is bound to happen. Satan does not want you to hear.
4. When you hear the God’s word your focus shifts. No longer are you dependant on people on the side of the road. He heard Jesus was coming and he was expecting Jesus to provide for him. When a child of God hears a word, the focus shifts.
5. He began to cry out or pray “Jesus have mercy on me”. The more the blind man cried out, the more people tried to shut him up. You can’t be cute with this kind of prayer. When you need a break through, you don’t have time to be cute. You don’t have to impress anybody, because you are trying to get God’s attention. Don’t’ let people discourage you and make you sit down. You are trying to get God’s attention. Sometimes you got to get ugly when you pray. Remember you are trying to get a breakthrough.
6. They began to vilify him. 48 And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me. Don’t allow people in crowd prevent you from getting what you need. There are silent haters. Everyone in church doesn’t have the same agenda. Some people have an issue with you getting your breakthrough. You got to get beyond carnal cliques in church and get to God anyhow.
7. The more they rejected the blind man, the more he cried out to Jesus. You keep pressing your way through until you get your breakthrough. Somebody needs to declare “I am still going to get my harvest like a good soldier!”
8. Blind Bartimaeus is on the side of road but he is saying “Lord have mercy on me” or “even me.” “I know I am not on your schedule nor do I have a position or title, but even me.” In verse 47-48 of the text we see many people told Bartimaeus to shut up. In verse 49 the bible says Jesus stood still. In other words the man’s prayer got Jesus’ attention. Something about your prayer ought to make Jesus stand still. Jesus commanded that the man that was praying, be called to him. They called the blind man. The real issue is the word “they”. In fact just conjugate the words them and they. It is always them that are talking about you. It was them and they that told you that you weren’t going to be anything. It was the same them and they that talked about Bartimaeus and tried to get him to shut up, yet Jesus made them go and get the blind man. Jesus will make your enemy your foot stool. He will make your enemies bless you. Jesus will let them that talked about you turn around and go get you and bring you to him. If you keep pressing your way, your breakthrough will come.
9. We know that the blind man’s issue is he is blind. His posture was bad and we know it was one of his first problems. He was comfortable in his issue. Jesus told the man to rise. Jesus says before he can deal with your issue, he needs you to get your but up and rise. He can’t help you until you help yourself. You are going to have to do something for yourself. You are going to have to get up out of that crazy place, or that mess, or even that crazy relationship you are in. There are some things you can do for yourself. Get up!
Now we see Jesus changes the blind man’s circumstance.
III. Changed his circumstances
1. This man comes to Jesus vilified. Now Jesus vindicates him. God will vindicate you, when people vilify you.
2. In verse 50, Bartimaeus took off his clothes of begging. He took off the stuff of his past. This represents him taking of the old state of his shame. 50 And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.
3. In verse 51, Jesus said to him “what do you want me to do?” 51 And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.
4. In verse 52, Jesus told him to go away and be whole. 52 And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way. Immediately Bartimaeus received his sight. Jesus told him to go away, because His faith made him whole. You can’t have an encounter with Jesus and leave the same way you came. There is victory in your future. When God changes your life, there will be evidence in how he did it. Because you have faith, you have the power. Because you have endured and because you had the faith, it won’t’ take long for this to happen.
5. God said immediately! Immediately this breakthrough is going to come. You have been living beneath your potential too long. You have been on the side of road too long. The bible says he followed Jesus in the way. This is how you know a person really has been changed. You will no longer follow people when you have been changed. Now you will follow after Jesus, because he is the best thing that could have happened to you. We are tied up and tangled up in Jesus. Some people want to know why people get up so early or travel so far to just to get to Jesus. They don’t realize how blind you were before. Jesus touched you and now you see like never before. God is Adam’s redeemer, he’s Abraham’s sacrifice, he’s Noah’s ark, and he’s Moses bush on fire. Ask your neighbor do you know him? He’s Joshua’s battle axe, he’s Samson’s power, he’s David’s music, he’s Solomon’s wisdom, and he’s Jeremiah’s fire that keeps on burning. He is Ezekiel’s wheel that keeps on turning and grandmother’s bridge over trouble water and shelter in the time of the storm. He is a mind regulator and a company keeper, a body healer, shoes on our feet, clothes on my back, and food on our table. Does anybody know him?
6. We are going to follow Jesus anyway. We don’t know what caused your blindness, but we know God is about to move everything out of your way that is preventing you from seeing him like you are supposed to see him. It doesn’t matter what you’ve been through or how long you’ve been on the side of the road. Jesus has the power to turn everything around immediately. You been looking for a blessing and it seems it just won’t come, but remember the Devil is a liar and a deceiver. God is not through with you yet. He will deliver. He is not through blessing you!