Essay on The Healing of Blind Bartimaeus

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Essay on The Healing of Blind Bartimaeus

They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Jesus stood still and said, ‘Call him here.’ And they called the blind man, saying to him, ‘Take heart; get up, he is calling you.’So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ The blind man said to him, ‘My teacher, let me see again.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your faith has made you well.’ Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.

I chose this topic and passage because the unique message it portrays, that is, the occurrence of radical things requires radical faith. An unusual thing occurs in this passage and that is the miracle happens almost immediately just like when the bleeding woman touched Jesus’ cloak. Such immediate occurrence of a miracle or heeding of a call amidst obstacles can only be the product of radical faith.

Context: Gospel Author/Audience, Historical, Literacy-essay on The Healing of Blind Bartimaeus

While my passage is shaped by a special concern of Mark, the gospel author, that is, getting believers to declare what they want God to do for them “What do you want me to do for you?”, Mark’s organization of the material in this passage is key to delivering the message to believers that delivery comes in expressing faith. This passage also fits within the way Mark has organized the material in that this miracle happens before Jesus’ Triumphant entry into Jerusalem, meaning that he was not only in a hurry but was also surrounded by a multitude of people making it difficult to reach him without shouting as the blind did so as to get the attention of Jesus. Such an expression of radical faith warranted the immediate miracle from Jesus. This passage and message are also evident in other gospels in Mathew 20: 29-34 and Luke 18: 35-43.

Historical Probability

The events in my passage are historically more probably given that they are present in three gospels that is, Mark 10: 46-52, Mathew 20: 29-34 and Luke 18: 35-43. In addition, the healing of the blind in these gospels is reported before Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, indicating that the time when Jesus performed this miracle resonates with three gospel authors. Another vital factor in this passaged that is evident in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke is the location or place that was close to where the miracle took place. This place is Jericho and it is mentioned by Matthew, Mark and Luke in their gospels. Nonetheless, there is a discrepancy in the three accounts of this miracle. Luke talks of a blind man healed as Jesus was entering Jericho while Matthew and Mark mention that the miracle occurred as Jesus was leaving Jericho. Moreover, Matthew talks of two blind men receiving their sight. Discordant solutions of this meager difficulty have been brought forward. Perhaps the most probable is that the two beggars were sitting near Jericho’s town gates as Jesus and his disciples entered. Upon hearing that Jesus was passing by, they called out to Him for help. However, since Jesus was surrounded by a multitude of people, He probably did not hear their call or possibly sought to test their faith by seeing their patience. After following Jesus and attracting His attention in an open place, He heals them. Basically, the events commence as Jesus enters Jericho and culminate as He departs from Jericho. Another explanation is that there is a difference between the old and the new Jericho in that the blind man might have been healed as Jesus was departing from old Jericho while the other blind men were healed as Jesus was entering the new Jericho. As for the matter of both Mark and Luke only mentioning one blind man, only one (Bartimaeus) is mentioned because of his importance and value in the gospel and the church given that he became one of the followers of Jesus, So it does not mean that Jesus only healed one blind man and not two, only one is mentioned by name and by two gospel authors due to his importance in the gospel and the church.

 Central Theological Issues-essay on The Healing of Blind Bartimaeus

 

The account healing of blind Bartimaeus is utilized in the gospels of Mark, Mathew and Luke to make a spiritual point. These passages point out that the healing itself is not the emphasis; rather it is the pre and post-performance of the miracle that are significant. Even though a miracle is vividly performed by Jesus, this miracle is discordant. Often, Jesus would pronounce a dramatic word or undertake a gesture that accompanies the miracle. Moreover, there is usually the mention of astonishment by the people who witnessed the miracle being performed by Jesus. Nonetheless, none of these things take place in the account of healing of blind Bartimaeus. As such, the emphasis is on Bartimaeus and his radical faith before the occurrence of the miracle, as well as, his actions after receiving his healing and not the miracle itself. It is because of this reason that Steinhauser (1986, p. 115) labels it as a “call” rather than a miracle. The radical faith held by Bartimaeus enabled him to receive immediate or instantaneous healing or miracle akin to the bleeding woman who touched the cloak of Jesus. Stein (2008, p. 115) is of the opinion that the miracle of healing of blind Bartimaeus by Jesus portrays a picture of discipleship brought about by radical faith since Bartimaeus follows Jesus after his healing. Therefore, this account of healing of blind Bartimaeus emphasizes the notion that true discipleship emanates from radical faith.

Modern Theological Issues-essay on The Healing of Blind Bartimaeus

 

There are harbingers in the gospels that various accounts have been stitched together. For instance, in the account of the healing of blind Bartimaeus, Jesus arrives in Jericho and leaves shortly in the next sentence. It is because of this reason that modern or contemporary depictions of the healing of blind Bartimaeus normally treat the miracle as a videotape replay of an event rather than according it the prominence it deserves. The healing of blind Bartimaeus by Jesus carries a heavy theological freight that is often lost in modern depictions of the story in films (Meier, 1994). In addition, this story points towards a vital tradition of discipleship; a message that is diluted in delivery when modern films of Jesus’ accounts treat is as an insignificant event. In as much as modern theology emphasizes salvation through faith, radical faith is not mentioned in most contemporary teachings. Radical faith such as the one held by Abraham who ready to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice and the bleeding woman who touched the cloak of Jesus and was healed are rarely emphasized in modern theology; a phenomenon that has resulted in the loss of the message of true discipleship brought about by radical faith.

My Audience-essay on The Healing of Blind Bartimaeus

 

The account of healing of blind Bartimaeus is addressed to unbelievers. The purpose of the succinct narration of the story of Bartimaeus in the gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke is to make unbelievers look at the miracle performed by Jesus and see that He is Christ and rid themselves of their radical doubt by having radical faith. Most people are not physically blind, but spiritually blind. It is this spiritual blindness that the story of the healing of blind Bartimaeus aims to help unbelievers surmount by having radical faith. The account of healing of blind Bartimaeus is also addressed to believers seeking true discipleship. In the same way that Bartimaeus was rebuked by people who demanded he remain silent, believers face rebuke and rejection by people in their endeavors to be true disciples and spread the word of God. Bartimaeus’ call was deemed as a disturbance by people who were listening to the theological teachings of Jesus. However, it is his radical faith that stopped Jesus amidst all the hustle and bustle around him. Thus, unbelievers and believers seeking salvation, healing and true discipleship can only attain them through radical faith.

  1. Research paper: Essay on The Healing of Blind Bartimaeus

Discipleship through Radical Faith

The account healing of blind Bartimaeus is utilized in the gospels of Mark, Mathew and Luke to make a spiritual point. These passages point out that the healing itself is not the emphasis; rather it is the pre and post-performance of the miracle that are significant. Even though a miracle is vividly performed by Jesus, this miracle is discordant. Often, Jesus would pronounce a dramatic word or undertake a gesture that accompanies the miracle. Moreover, there is usually the mention of astonishment by the people who witnessed the miracle being performed by Jesus. Nonetheless, none of these things take place in the account of healing of blind Bartimaeus. As such, the emphasis is on Bartimaeus and his radical faith before the occurrence of the miracle, as well as, his actions after receiving his healing and not the miracle itself. It is because of this reason that Steinhauser (1986, p. 115) labels it as a “call” rather than a miracle. The radical faith held by Bartimaeus enabled him to receive immediate or instantaneous healing or miracle akin to the bleeding woman who touched the cloak of Jesus. Stein (2008, p. 115) is of the opinion that the miracle of healing of blind Bartimaeus by Jesus portrays a picture of discipleship brought about by radical faith since Bartimaeus follows Jesus after his healing. Therefore, this account of healing of blind Bartimaeus emphasizes the notion that true discipleship emanates from radical faith.

There are harbingers in the gospels that various accounts have been stitched together. For instance, in the account of the healing of blind Bartimaeus, Jesus arrives in Jericho and leaves shortly in the next sentence. It is because of this reason that modern or contemporary depictions of the healing of blind Bartimaeus normally treat the miracle as a videotape replay of an event rather than according it the prominence it deserves. The healing of blind Bartimaeus by Jesus carries a heavy theological freight that is often lost in modern depictions of the story in films (Meier, 1994). In addition, this story points towards a vital tradition of discipleship; a message that is diluted in delivery when modern films of Jesus’ accounts treat is as an insignificant event. In as much as modern theology emphasizes salvation through faith, radical faith is not mentioned in most contemporary teachings. Radical faith such as the one held by Abraham who ready to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice and the bleeding woman who touched the cloak of Jesus and was healed are rarely emphasized in modern theology; a phenomenon that has resulted in the loss of the message of true discipleship brought about by radical faith.

As Yates (2016) asserts, the account of healing of blind Bartimaeus is addressed to unbelievers. The purpose of the succinct narration of the story of Bartimaeus in the gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke is to make unbelievers look at the miracle performed by Jesus and see that He is Christ and rid themselves of their radical doubt by having radical faith (Yates, 2016). Most people are not physically blind, but spiritually blind. It is this spiritual blindness that the story of the healing of blind Bartimaeus aims to help unbelievers surmount by having radical faith. The account of healing of blind Bartimaeus is also addressed to believers seeking true discipleship. In the same way that Bartimaeus was rebuked by people who demanded he remain silent, believers face rebuke and rejection by people in their endeavors to be true disciples and spread the word of God. Bartimaeus’ call was deemed as a disturbance by people who were listening to the theological teachings of Jesus. However, it is his radical faith that stopped Jesus amidst all the hustle and bustle around him. Thus, unbelievers and believers seeking salvation, healing and true discipleship can only attain them through radical faith.Essay on The Healing of Blind Bartimaeus

 

Bartimaeous was aware that he did not deserve mercy. As such, he did not have any thought of entitlement. Whenever people come to God for healing or salvation, they should be humble and call out to Him “Lord, have mercy” just as Bartimaeous did (Swaby, 2015). Bartimaeous was also aware that only Jesus could supply what he needed. Thus, he was not going to let the crowd stop him from getting his healing or deliverance. Even when the crowd tried to get him to keep quiet and refrain from disturbing Jesus, Bartimaeous remained persistent in his call to Jesus. It was his resilience and persistence that made Jesus stop and ask blind Bartimaeous what he wanted. In most situations when people are seeking God and trying to get his attention, other individuals will try to hinder their endeavors. For instance, they can claim that the person reckons he or she is better than them or is worshiping too much. However, such radical doubt can be overcome by radical faith.

As Swaby (2015) states, legging go of the past is also key step towards discipleship through radical faith. When Bartimaeous was called by Jesus, he immediately threw away his cloak and ran to Jesus. This is because he realized that his cloak brought him comfort when he was still a beggar on the street. In many occasions, people want to come to God, but they do not want to abandon the things that hold them bondage. In order for such individuals to move forward in true discipleship, they must learn to throw away their old cloaks and wholly trust in God. Notwithstanding, the most prominent act of true discipleship is following Jesus. When Jesus healed blind Bartimaeous, He told him to “Go, your faith has healed you” but instead of leaving after receiving his sight, the Bible states that Bartimaeous followed Jesus (Menken, 2005). In most cases, people who are delivered by God tend to go back to their sinful ways. However, by saving them, God requires people to serve Him. In as much as blind Bartimaeous faced opposition from the crowd that tried to hinder his efforts to get Jesus’ attention, his radical faith made him recognize that only Jesus could heal Him and as such, he continued to shout. The healing of blind Bartimaeous is an example that is applicable to individuals today in that through this story, people can true discipleship comes from radical faith.Essay on The Healing of Blind Bartimaeus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

Meier, John P. A Marginal Jew. 2nd ed., Doubleday, 1994.

Menken, Maarten J.J. “The Call Of Blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52)”. HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies, vol 61, no. 1/2, 2005. AOSIS, doi:10.4102/hts.v61i1/2.442.

Stein, Robert H. “Mark: The Baker Exegetical Commentary On The New Testament”. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2008, https://www.wtsbooks.com/common/pdf_links/Excerpt_9780801026829.pdf. Accessed 24 Apr 2018.

Steinhauser, Michael G. “The Form Of The Bartimaeus Narrative (Mark 10.46-52)”. New Testament Studies, vol 32, no. 04, 1986, pp. 583-595. Cambridge University Press (CUP), doi:10.1017/s0028688500014223.

Swaby, Eston. “What Can We Learn From Blind Bartimaeus? – Bible Way Mag”. Bible Way Mag, 2015, http://www.biblewaymag.com/what-can-we-learn-from-blind-bartimaeus/. Accessed 25 Apr 2018.

Yates, Kenneth. “The Healing Of Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52), Part 1 | Grace Evangelical Society”. Faithalone.Org, 2016, https://faithalone.org/journal-articles/the-healing-of-bartimaeus/. Accessed 25 Apr 2018.