A Voice in the
Wilderness

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                           *** PORTIONS ***

Re: Blind Faith - a parable

"So Jesus...commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man,
saying to him, Be of good courage. Rise, He is calling you.  And
throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus." (Mk10:49-50)

The complete incident is found in vs46-52. The son of Timaeus, a blind 
man, sitting by the wayside, hears that Jesus is coming by, and starts 
yelling at the top of his lungs, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on 
me!" This account is a picture of how a person comes to Saving Faith in 
Jesus Christ. While the incident actually happened, in which the man 
came to physical 'sight'; it also serves as a parable regarding Saving
Faith.

The man, being blind, is without direction and purpose. Sitting there.
He is not like the rest of the people, following Jesus. He cannot. He
cannot see. Even if he were to get up and start pretending by following
the noise of the crowd, he still cannot see Jesus. He is not following
Christ. He would be following the crowd.

Even most of the people in the crowd were pretenders. They each
followed the masses. The 'concept' of what Jesus represented. They
would talk to each other 'about' Jesus, and say all sorts of wonderful
things about Him, and His works, miracles and teachings. They were like
most '[c]hristians' today. If asked, "Sure, I'm a follower of Jesus".
See? I've been following Jesus all over from Nazareth to Jerusalem to
Bethsaida, to ??? Isn't it just wonderful all the people He heals. I
was even there and ate the bread He broke for 5000 and 4000 people all
at one time. I'm a partaker.  I go to church regularly, and speak with
everyone I get a chance to, about Jesus, and invite them to church.

Notice that the crowds were the ones who ultimately yelled out, 
"Crucify Him!!" (Mt27:20-22) Israel in the wilderness "were immersed 
into Moses...all ate the same spiritual food...drank out of that 
spiritual rock... [which] was Christ. But with most of them God was not
well please, for they were scattered in the wilderness" (1Cor10:2-5)

But Bartimaeus: The crowds ([c]hurch) are walking past him, and here he
is, sitting by himself on the sidelines. He hasn't eaten the bread, nor
seen the miracles; although, he's heard 'of' them. But he cannot
converse with anybody about how he is a follower. He is blind! He
cannot see!

"JESUS, SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME!!" This is the entrance to the
path to salvation. Jesus said of the one who humbly beat on his breast
and said, "God, be merciful to me the sinner" (Lk18:13), that he, not 
the self-righteous pharisee, went home "justified".(vs14)

So what happens now? Does the [c]hurch help this man find Jesus? Oh, be 
quiet! SHUT UP!!! Quit stirring things up and causing a commotion!
Can't you see how "united" we are as we follow Jesus and bask in His
presence?  Isn't it just so wonderful how all these "different" people
have come together and are following Jesus? And how dare you stir up 
this calm and tranquility, and how we all 'feel' so good being around 
Jesus as He feeds us and heals us, by screaming at the top of your 
lungs about "MERCY"! Speaking of "mercy" indicates a basis in sin. 
Oooo, how ugly! Such 'hate speech'!

"Take words with you and return to Jehovah. Say to Him, Take away all
iniquity and receive us with grace (mercy).." (Hos14:2)

However, IN SPITE OF the [c]hurch's efforts to keep this man and Jesus
separated; they've been working real hard at it, even with threats and
intimidation (Woe to them! Lk11:52); Jesus hears him. And He calls for
the man. That's the only way the man is going to get healed.

"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.."
(Jn6:44)

So, the man "throwing aside his garment.." (vs50) Folks, in those days, 
people were self-contained. They had their basic cloths, and then, a 
wrap. This wrap would keep one warm in the cold, and provided that to 
spread out, upon which to sleep. For a poor person, his wrap was his 
"home", and represented the totality of his earthly possessions. Now, 
if a blind person takes this wrap and "throws" it aside, in the context 
of a massive crowd of people, how will he ever find it again? Even if 
somebody doesn't steal it, how could he possible feel around to ever 
find it again, to retrieve it? This is like "burning his bridge behind
him", never to go back.

A person once asked Jesus, How can I "inherit eternal life?" Jesus
responds, "Sell everything that you have...and come, follow Me."
(Lk18:18,22) That person, having great possessions, went back home to
them. How 'impossible' it is for those with riches to "enter into the
kingdom of God"! (vs24)

Here we come to the title of this piece.  Many people proclaim a "blind 
faith". You've just gotta close your eyes, hold your nose, and -JUMP-!  
They cite Abram who, "went out, not knowing where he went".  (Heb11:8
-kjv)  But they fail to remember that "Abraham believed God". (Rom4:3)
Perhaps Abraham didn't know 'where' he was going, but he knew 'whom' he
followed. Like the old song that states, "I know not what the future
holds, but I know WHO holds the future.."

"..for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to 
keep safe what I have committed to Him until that Day." (2Tm1:12)

The blind man was not following the crowds. But calls out to Jesus.
Now, when he gets the message that Jesus is calling for him, hope
springs to life, "He is actually calling for me!!" What more does he
need! This newly-formed faith within him manifests itself into action.
He rushes to Jesus. And his life? His wrap? Well, what does 'it'
matter?! He's going to -JESUS-! Jesus is the very embodiment of his
salvation!

Now, Jesus asks...as if He didn't already know!  "What do you want Me
to do for you?" (Mk10:51) "My Master, that I may see again."

Jesus' response, "Go your way; your faith has made you well.." (vs52)

And what about all the crowds who were following Jesus?  "For judgment
I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and
that those who see may become blind." (Jn9:39)

Observe: The 'crowds' who were 'following' Jesus, crucified Him. The 
one who called out in faith, to him Jesus did not say, "Join along with 
these crowds who [think they are] following Me", but rather, based on 
your faith, "Go your way..."

Amen!

Next related Topic: "[c]hristians Shall Fall"
Beginning of this mini-series