Restored Vision | Nov. 20,2016

Restored Vision

Getting Started

  • In Mark 10:46-52, we saw Bartimaeus, a man sidelined from life. Who in our society are the types of people who are seemingly sidelined from life going on around them?

  • In Mark 10:46-52, we saw the crowd following Jesus response to the sidelined Bartimaeus to be one of avoidance. How have we seen the followers of Jesus in our culture respond to those who aren't on a journey with Jesus?

Sermon Recap

In our sermon series on the book of Mark "Man of Prediction, God of Presence" Pastor Kurt talked about restored vision,  from Mark 10:46-52. This was the conclusion of this part of Mark, leading into Jesus' last week prior to His death and resurrection. In this passage, we read about Jesus and the crowd following Him traveling through Jericho. As they were leaving Jericho, they encountered a blind beggar named Bartimaeus who was sitting on the roadside crying out to Jesus. Bartimaeus was sidelined from life and enjoyed no social status as a result of his ailment of blindness. Bartimaeus hears that it is Jesus of Nazareth who is passing through and he cries out addressing Jesus as the "Son of David". This exemplified the hope that Bartimaeus had in Jesus as God's Savior King. Many in the crowd rebuke Bartimaeus for crying out, but that only intensified his crying out. Blind Bartimaeus' desire was to be an ordinary human, he simply wanted to see. Jesus restored his vision and made him whole. We were challenged to think about the people in our lives who aren't on a journey with Jesus, who don't have a vision or purpose for life. We were asked, what is our response to people in need?

Unfortunately, what so many people who are hurting, and needy, and broken see when they encounter the crowds who are following Jesus is a people distracted and neglectful of their needs. We like the disciples, in many ways prevent needy people from coming to Jesus, as if there is another solution to their needs. We as part of the crowd of Jesus followers that are only concerned with their own journey are telling people a couple of things. Some of us are telling the needy that they aren't worth Jesus' time. They are too worthless. We ignore them or move at a faster pace than they are, and they are unable to keep up because they aren't growing at the same pace we are on our journey following Jesus. Some of us are telling the needy that they are fine just the way they are, and there is no need of healing. They are too hopeless. This is odd, because at the end of the day, we are all blind and broken, and in need of Jesus. Sometimes as we journey with Jesus we forget that.

The good news of this story though is found in verse 49 when Jesus stopped. He stops and despite the crowds wanting to keep moving, ignoring Bartimaeus, Jesus asks him what He can do. Bartimaeus simply wanted his sight, he wanted to be ordinary. This is a vast contrast to the request of James and John just a few verses prior to this. They asked for the extraordinary, but Bartimaeus just wanted the ordinary. It is a good righteous thing to ask for simple restoration. James Edwards said it this way, "In humble trust Bartimaeus asks not for wealth, power, or success, but only for sight; he asks not to be superhuman, but simply human." Bartimaeus was granted freedom by Jesus, but he follows Jesus toward Jerusalem. He heard about Jesus, he trusted Jesus, he honored Jesus, and he followed Jesus.

Ultimately, Ministry is journeying with Jesus in the restoration of all things. Hearing about Jesus allows people to believe, be restored, and follow. We were challenged to respond to those with needs around us in three ways:

  • We need to stop and consider the needs of the people along our journey with Jesus.
  • We need to call the people along our journey with Jesus.
  • We need to journey on the right mission.
    • We welcome you. (hospitality)
    • We stand with you. (solidarity)
    • We need you. (mutuality)

 

Community Discussion

  • The crowd following Jesus wanted to avoid Bartimaeus. Think for a moment about the people we come across who are "sidelined" in life. They aren't on a journey with Jesus, and they don't have a vision or purpose, they're just existing. What has our response as a community been to these types of people?
  • Jesus' response was quite different than that of the crowd. He stopped to consider Bartimaeus' needs and called him to be encouraged. How have we stopped to consider the needs of the people we encounter on our journey with Jesus? In what ways are we calling the people along our journey to Jesus? How are we welcoming people into our community, standing with people in need in our community, and expressing our need for them in our lives?
  • What are some practical ways we as a community can call people to the presence of Jesus? How can we journey in a way that expresses hospitality, solidarity, and mutuality?

Further Discussion

Discipleship

  • The crowd following Jesus wanted to avoid Bartimaeus. Think for a moment about the people you come across who are "sidelined" in life. They aren't on a journey with Jesus, and they don't have a vision or purpose, they're just existing. What has your response been to these types of people around you? In what ways has your response been similar to the crowd passing by Bartimaeus? 
  • Jesus' response was quite different than that of the crowd. He stopped to consider Bartimaeus' needs and called him to be encouraged. How have you stopped to consider the needs of the people you encounter on your journey with Jesus? In what ways are you calling the people along your journey to Jesus? How are you welcoming people into your life, standing with people in need in your community, and expressing your need for them in your lives?

Family

  • Jesus' response was quite different than the crowd. He stopped to consider Bartimaeus' needs and called him to be encouraged. How has your family stopped to consider the needs of the people you encounter on your journey with Jesus? In what ways are you calling the people along your journey to Jesus? How are you welcoming people into your life, standing with people in need in your community, and expressing your need for them in your lives?
  • What are some practical ways your family can call those in need to the presence of Jesus? Who of your neighbors have you recently welcomed into your home? Who of your neighbors are you currently standing with in solidarity? Who of your neighbors are you currently expressing your need of them in your families lives?