GOOD FRIDAY, April 18
Mark 10:50 Throwing aside his cloak, he jumped up and came to Jesus. 51 And answering him, Jesus said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And the blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road.
There were three prisoners in a cave. Facing the wall, they knew nothing of the outside world, only the dancing shadows on the wall cast by the light of the fire behind them. This was their reality. Until a liberator came, to free them from their chains, to turn and face the reality outside the cave. The first prisoner refused, “Are you mad? This is reality right here!” And he never averted his gaze from the wall. The second prisoner stirred as he heard the voice of the liberator. But he just could not tear his gaze away from the transfixing images on the wall. The third prisoner looked away just long enough for the liberator to capture his attention: “There is another world out there, far more real than this – ” to which the noble prisoner responded “then take me there, I want to see.”
Blind Bartimaeus’ request in verse 51: “Rabboni, I want to regain my sight” is eerily contrastive amidst so much pervasive and self-deluding blindness in these recent passages in Mark. James and John don’t get it. Neither do the disciples in their failed attempts at exorcism. Even Peter seems to miss the mark, with an answer so close yet so far. Bartimaeus seems to be the only one to admit he cannot see in the first place.
Poor, blind, and noble Bartimaeus. Who wants to regain sight. He is the first to tear his gaze from the wall. The first to step out of the cave. Even “throws aside” his possessions for it (his cloak… contrast this with the rich young ruler prior). “I want to regain my sight.” How often are we willing to make such an admission? We are too often, too snugly know-it-alls. God grant us the grace to see we need to regain something. Grace. Love. Understanding. Faith. Sight. Humility.
Jesus says it again. “What do you want Me to do for you?” That’s not a coincidence. I think the wording is deliberately chosen there, echoing vs. 36 previously. And all this time He has been talking about how “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve” (vs. 45).
Two postures to take with us into Good Friday, as we keep our vigil by the side of the cross: 1: a desire to see / regain sight, and 2: a servant posture asking, “What do you want me to do for you?”
This Holy Week, we at Harvest will be bringing to you daily reflections from Pastor Wayne’s study through Mark to aid you in your own personal reflection and prayers throughout this last week of Lent. If you are in the Houston area, join us for EASTER SUNDAY at Harvest at 9:30am!