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JEREMIAH 31:7- 9

PSALM 126: 1- 6

HEBREW 5:1- 6

MARK 10:46- 52

Today's Gospel reading tells us that when Bartimaeus , a blind beggar heard that Jesus was passing by the roadside , began to cry, out saying , "Jesus son of David, have mercy on me."

I want us to note very well that the Gospel reading says he cried out. Other bible translations say he shouted while others point out that he raised his voice. It means Bartimaeus did not call out to Jesus in a low soft voice saying ," Jesus son of David , have mercy on me," but he literally cried out he shouted , he raised his voice, saying, JESUS, SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME. Let us also look at the reaction of the crowd when

Bartimaeus cried out to Jesus. How does the crowd react? The crowd rebuked him, telling him to be silent. To rebuke means to express sharp disapproval or criticism of someone because of their behaviour or to criticize adversely. These people were therefore not smiling and soft spoken when they rebuked Bartimaeus. It seems that his shouting had gone deep into their nerves.

Why did Bartimaeus cry out to Jesus to have mercy on him? He cried out to Jesus because he was a blind beggar and this was a disadvantage to him, he was in a desperate situation and he wanted his circumstance to be changed by Jesus. Imagine being blind and poor at the same time.

It is not an easy situation.

Why does the crowd tell Bartimaeus to be silent? No reason has been given , so we have to think deeply. Is it because he was a beggar and blind? If he was rich and blind would they have urged him to shout out to Jesus? Were they telling him to keep silent because Jesus would have admonished them for not taking care of the poor?

Did the crowd tell him to keep silent because they felt he was interrupting Jesus in his work?

Did they tell him to keep silent just because he shouted out?

If he had called out to Jesus in a low soft voice, would they have harshly silenced him?

If you were Bartimaeus would you have kept silent? If you were in the crowd, would you have told him to be silent? As we ponder on these questions, the cry of Bartimaeus is geared towards one thing, the mercy of Jesus to enable him receive his sight.

If Bartimaeus is need of the mercy of Jesus, then we also need that mercy right now because you will notice that the words in Bartimaeus' cry are in the present tense. The present tense recognizes that Bartimaeus wants to be drawn into a relationship with Jesus based on the mercy that Jesus will show him. Can we recall what it feels like to be shown mercy and to extend mercy towards others?

If Bartimaeus wants Jesus to be merciful to him by giving him back his sight then getting this mercy goes in tandem with his cry for it, the two aspects are inseparable. Bartimaeus did not like his blindness and poverty. He cried out for mercy and he got it and even threw his cloak that he relied on to keep his day's collection from people in order to follow Jesus.

Had Bartimaeus kept silent would he have been shown mercy? Would he have followed Jesus?In a deeper sense, those telling Bartimaeus to be silent are the ones who are blind because they cannot see why he shouts, "Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me!" By crying out for mercy, Bartimaeus has been saved, restored and invited to the kingdom of God.

How often do we silence others, convinced that their cries of mercy are not worthy of God's attention? How often do we keep silent fearing that we might tear apart that which we have already constructed to keep away what or who we don't want to see,hear or acknowledge? Both blindness and poverty were taken as signs of punishment for sin those days. That is why those around him try to silence him up because they think it is very embarrassing to have such a sinner cry out to a revered teacher like Jesus.

Like Bartimaeus, what would you like to cry out to God about for you to experience God's Mercy? What would you like to cry out to your husband, wife, parents, child, or friends or siblings so that they know what you need and change your situation?


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