The Value of Persistence: Mark 10:46-52

Focus Passage: Mark 10:46-52 (GNT)

 46 They came to Jericho, and as Jesus was leaving with his disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus son of Timaeus was sitting by the road. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout,
         Jesus! Son of David! Have mercy on me!

 48 Many of the people scolded him and told him to be quiet. But he shouted even more loudly,
         Son of David, have mercy on me!

 49 Jesus stopped and said,
         Call him.

   So they called the blind man.
         Cheer up! they said.
         Get up, he is calling you.

 50 So he threw off his cloak, jumped up, and came to Jesus.

 51 What do you want me to do for you? Jesus asked him.

         Teacher, the blind man answered,
         I want to see again.

 52 Go, Jesus told him,
         your faith has made you well.

Read Mark 10:46-52 in context and/or in other translations on!

In our passage today, we witness struggle, persistence, and triumph. It is a perfect example for one of my favorite phrases: “Everything worth achieving involves a challenge.”

In this passage, the gospel of Mark gives the man with the challenge a name: Bartimaeus. Bartimaeus was blind, and this was the big obstacle in his life.

In that era, those who were disabled in some way had the social stigma that some sin they did, or a sin their parents did, was the reason for the disability being in their life. So they were an outcast from the start, and in that era, almost all occupations required some form of eyesight, so these individuals with disabilities were left to beg for money, food, and the other necessities of life. The culture was not their friend. There was no “government assistance” available to help – unless you requested death at the hands of a gruff Roman soldier.

But what makes the encounter Jesus has with Bartimaeus so interesting in my mind is that once Bartimaeus has a sliver of hope – that Jesus of Nazareth is close by – he does not let that sliver of hope slip out of his grasp. He is in a difficult situation, but his persistence, his hope, and his faith keep him from giving up.

Since he cannot pick Jesus out in the noise of the large crowd, he does the next best thing: Try to get Jesus’ attention to focus on him. Even the crowd trying to silence him does not distract him; it probably actually encouraged him because it meant that Jesus might have been coming within earshot.

Bartimaeus is a perfect example of the big idea for this entry because through his hope, his persistence, and his faith, he is healed. Through Bartimaeus’ example, we learn that: Persistence is one way to find healing and/or freedom from the “disabilities” in our lives.

When we persist and focus all our energy on overcoming an obstacle in our lives, eventually, we will either overcome the obstacle, or minimize its significance in light of new understanding. Our willpower alone cannot remove serious physical disabilities, but with willpower and the help of a team of friends, we can move the focus off the disability and minimize its significance.

This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus “Reflective Bible Study” package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today!

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