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Sunday 25th October Insert Pentecost 22B He followed him

Lismore Anglican Parish Bulletin Insert – Sunday 25th October 2015, Pentecost22

He followed him Job 42:1-6, 10-17, Hebrews 7:21-28, Mark 10:46-52

Jesus is leaving Jericho ‘with his disciples,’ while a blind beggar by the name of Bartimaeus sits in the gutter in his misery and abandon. On hearing that the crowd and the noise around him had been created by the presence of Jesus of Nazareth, Bartimaeus makes a double confession of faith. He cries out ‘Son of David, have pity on me,’ thus expressing his belief in Jesus as the Messiah.

Jewish tradition held that the messianic line would come from the house of the great King David. Bartimaeus; cry, ‘Son of David’ indicates who Jesus is. However, there is more to it. He also asked Jesus: ‘have pity on me.’ Bartimaeus not only expresses his faith in who Jesus is, but also his trust in what Jesus can do. Jesus will exercise his messiahship through his goodness and mercy.

The people around Jesus (including his disciples) scold the blind man and tell him to be quiet. It is hardly proper that the Master and Prophet be summoned by a derelict from the gutter. Bartimaeus persists. He pays no attention to what is ‘proper.’ The insistence from those who surround Jesus only makes Bartimaeus more aware of the precariousness of his situation, and the depth of his need. Thus he cries out to Jesus ‘all the louder,’ inspired by his faith: ‘Son of David have pity on me.’

Bartimaeus’ persistence in faith leads to a dramatic change in the action of the story. The procession away from Jericho stops. Jesus tells his attendants: “Call him here.’ Bartimaeus is receiving a calling from Jesus to come to him. This poverty-stricken and afflicted blind man is being called to discipleship. Summoned by the call of Jesus, Bartimaeus leaves his last vestige of pride and respectability, his cloak, and presents himself in his nothingness.

The man who comes to Jesus, recognizing his need and placing his hope and trust in Jesus receives his sight, and he receives more. Jesus tells the man to ‘go,’ but there is only one way along the road which this new disciple can ‘go’: he joins Jesus in the journey to Jerusalem.

Bartimaeus provides us with a model of discipleship: recognize our need, shed all pretentions of power and glory, be filled with the goodness which only Jesus can give, and then follow him down his way to the resurrection through the Cross.

(Adapted from This is the Gospel of the Lord – Year B, by Francis J. Moloney, p 194-5).

 

Hebrews 7:21-28 21 but this one became a priest with an oath, because of the one who said to him,

“The Lord has sworn     and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest forever’”—

22 accordingly Jesus has also become the guarantee of a better covenant.

23 Furthermore, the former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office; 24 but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. 25 Consequently he is able for all time to save those who approach God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.

26 For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he has no need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for those of the people; this he did once for all when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests those who are subject to weakness, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.

 

Mark 10:46-52 46 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. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 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.” 50 So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 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.” 52 Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.