A postcard from the 22nd Sunday after Pentecost 10/24/21
“What do you want me to do for you?”
That is the question Jesus asks the blind man on the road outside Jericho that would change that man’s life. [Mark 10:46-52] This scene closes out the travel narrative in Mark that began in Chapter 8. Throughout Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem, he encounters a lot of people, many of them identified as groups and not with names. There are the Pharisees, the scribes, the crowd, the disciples, and the people. Jesus encounters some individuals that go nameless—the blind man at Bethsaida, the boy with convulsions, and the rich young ruler. The people with names are Peter (who calls him Messiah) and James and John (who will have their share of Jesus’ cup and baptism). And now we get a final name—Bartimaeus.
Much of Jesus’ teachings on the way to Jerusalem are about how to see and act in the new world that is coming. This new world is one of reversals and disruptions. In this new world, it is a blind man that sees that Jesus is the son of David.
This blind man sees what even disciples have not yet seen. This blind man can do what the rich young man could not. He is ready for Jesus to change his life. And so the blind man as a name—Bartimaeus—and he is our example of a disciple that is ready to be transformed and to follow Jesus on the way.
A sermon from St. Paul’s in Greensboro:
We will move through the final weeks of the liturgical year exploring the gospel texts of the day.
- Oct. 31 – Messiah, Heflin / The Greatest Commandment Mark 12:28-34
- Nov. 7 – Messiah, Heflin / All Saints Day and Celebrating 41 years of ministry at the Church of the Messiah / The Raising of Lazarus John 11:32-44
- Nov. 14 – St. Barnabas, Roanoke / Signs Mark 13:1-8
- Nov. 21 – Messiah, Heflin / Christ the King John 18:33-37