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  • Writer's pictureRev. Kim Taylor

Pastor's Ponderings: Meandering through Mark 46-52 bible study (June 18, 2024)

June 18, 2024:  Tuesday Bible Study on the Gospel of Mark 10: 46-52

Good morning to in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I hope that you have been remembering to read Psalm 130 at night before bed, and that upon rising in the morning, one of the first things you are doing is giving thanks for God for the joy that we all know in Jesus Christ. I hope that you had a wonderful day of giving thanks for your father, and if possible, that he was with you for the celebration, or that you celebrated your memories of Dad who has become one of God's triumphant servants in His heavenly kingdom. You might also be a person who had no loving relationship with your father, or your memories of him are not good and healthy. If that is the case, you can always celebrate the person who took on that role in your life. There is always a way to realize joy on a day like Father's Day because our Lord and Savior is also in that day with us.

Today we move on in chapter 10 of the Gospel of Mark and we are looking at verses 46-52. Today we find that Jesus and His Disciples are moving toward Jerusalem, with some degree of haste, because they are going there to celebrate the Passover. On their way, they, along with other pilgrims, are passing through Jericho. It's just a good walk of one day from there to Jerusalem.  The two cities are just twelve miles apart. In Jesus' time, and for this mandated celebration if you lived within 12 miles of the Temple, there were about 22,000 priests who would serve at the Temple caring for the thousands of pilgrims who would arrive there. The priests were divided into 26 groups to serve, but there may have been many in Jericho who had heard that this  upstart prophet would be passing through Jericho on His way to the Passover, and it seems that everyone was very curious, curious enough to line the streets of the city just to get a glimpse of Jesus passing through in the midst of the rest of those who were headed to Jerusalem.  When we realize the size of the pilgrim parade, and the numbers of people along the road, it is a real wonder that blind Bartimaeus would have any hope of being seen or heard in the din of so many who were out that day. However, when he hears that Jesus is walking past, he begins to yell and yell and yell to get His attention. Somehow his voice is heard by the Lord. Perhaps this happens because this is an opportunity for Jesus to confront all of the naysayers who are around him.  He will, by His Words, set Bartimaeus free from his blindness. This time, the Word of Jesus is met by the faith of this blind person. In his persistence Bartimaeus is called to come to Jesus. He flings off his loose garments and bounds out of the crowd to Jesus who asks him what he needs Jesus to do for him. I am certain that Jesus already knows, but for the sake of the thousands who are there along the street, and those who are pilgrims walking, there must be an answer to this question of this unclean blind person. Bartimaeus makes it short and to the point. "My prayer is that I might see again." Recognizing his faith, though it is offered with a faulty theology about who Jesus is, Jesus speaks to him, and his blindness is gone. How important it is to realize that we don't have to be right about everything theologically about Jesus, we need to have the faith that the Holy Spirit has nurtured in us and gifted to us.  Please note that Bartimaeus did not hesitate when Jesus called him. There was no, "Just give me a few minutes to get ready, then I will come to you."  When we hear the call of our Lord, our faith gift will call us to immediate action. I know that when Breonna, Kurt, and I received our calls to prepare for ordained ministry, our focus was to do everything necessary to move that call forward in our lives looking to the goal of our ordinations and God's call to serve the Gospel in the midst of His children in a church. For Bartimaeus there was no running home to show his family that he had been healed, he didn't circulate among the people journeying to Jerusalem.   There was only one priority in his life - He had to follow Jesus! We may not know how all of that became a part of the proclamation of Christ's Life, Death, and Resurrection, but we can be confident that the blind man of Jericho didn't quit!  His life was filled with gratitude for the healing that Christ had given him. What about us? We have all been healed of our sin by Christ's actions. I know that the church has become more gray than ever before, but we must remember that we are the living Christ on earth, and others who are younger than us need to see the example which we offer, of cherishing our Lord and His Living Presence with us every day as we live by His Word, loving God above all else, and loving our neighbors (that's everyone) as we love ourselves.

Thanks for being with me today - In Christ's Love, Pastor Kim

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