A Word for Today

Mercy

Exploring Mark 10:46-52 and the story of Bartimaeus. by Major Paul Cain

Before Palm Sunday, Jesus visited Jericho with his disciples. Shouting above the noise of the crowd, came the desperate plea from Bartimaeus – a blind beggar sitting along the roadside – “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Soon, mercy would indeed be his in the form of the miraculous restoration of his sight. As I read this story and ponder Bart’s request, a few things cross my mind:

Why did he ask for mercy and not healing?

It seems to me that Bartimaeus knew he had no right to call out to Jesus and bluntly ask Him for his sight. Mercy came when Jesus heard his call and responded. Like Bartimaeus, we are all sinners in need of God’s mercy.

Bartimaeus responded quickly to Jesus’ call.

  • He threw his cloak aside. Symbolically, but maybe literally (considering his lot in life), Bart threw aside his worldly possessions that would, no doubt, hinder his coming to Jesus. (Hebrews 12:1)
  • He jumped to his feet. This is a good lesson for us!  When Jesus offers mercy, run – don’t walk – to him.  It was a good thing that Bartimaeus met the Lord that day because the Savior never passed that way again. 

Jesus asked Bartimaeus – “What do you want me to do for you?”

  • Every day, in his loving mercy, Jesus asks the same question of us. I believe he means to do this… and that he wants us to be specific! His mercy is shown by responding to us and allowing us to come into his presence. His love and grace is shown by hearing our prayers.

His faith was the key to his healing.

  • This is a good reminder to all good things come by faith through the grace of God (Ephesians 2:8). Our faith in Christ is critical from the first call to the last.

Prayer for today:

“Dear Jesus – Have mercy on me – a sinner. Thank you for hearing me when I call and loving me even though I am unlovable. You are enough for me!”

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