Sermon notes Mark (Sermon 46) by lindahy


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									Sermon notes: Mark (Sermon 46)
Series     What a great life!                Message    Attention Seeker

Passage    Mark 10:46-52                     Date       15 June 2008

Preacher   Russell Matthews                  Audience   Rosalie Baptist Church

I.   Introduction to the Attention Seeker

     1.    Have you ever been at a crowded function or event for a celebrity or
           important person

     It is someone you have really admired. And after they have spoken or performed
their milling with the people who attended and you’re near them. You would love to
meet them and your friends know that and they are egging you on to go up and talk to

     But you just can’t. You just don’t have the courage to be so bold as to push
everyone else aside and demand this important person’s attention. You say to yourself
and your friends, they’re busy with other people and I’m not that important. And you’re
friends keep pushing you to do it because you will never get another opportunity but you
don’t because you’re not an attention seeker.

     2.    Have you ever been in a situation where a parent is involved with a group
           of other adults and they are all talking

     And then a young child comes up with complete disregard for the group and the
attention their parent is giving to the conversation. And the child starts tugging at their
parent’s clothing and calling “Mum, mum, mum”.

     All the other adults are a little distracted and are wishing this brat would go away
or have some manners and recognise their mother is talking with them and be quiet but
the child doesn’t care about any of that and calls out even more loudly and tugs even

harder because his needs are the most important in the world, at this point of time he is
the centre of the universe and he demands attention and is not going to give up or give in
until he gets it. And usually his persistence is rewarded.

     3.   The story of Bartimaeus is the story of an attention seeker

     Bartimaeus is more like the demanding young child who thinks his needs are more
important than anything else happening at the time. He demands the attention of the
famous Jesus and he won’t be quiet until he gets what he needs from him.

     Bartimaeus is not like the first person I mention, the shy person who won’t bother
the celebrity even though their friends are almost pushing them to go and talk to them.
In his case everyone is telling him to shut up.

     No Baritmaeus is an attention seeker.

     4.   Bartimaeus: a portrait of faith

     This section – Mark 10.46-52 – is an important conclusion to the larger section
about discipleship.

     Jesus has been making his way to Jerusalem and his is accompanied by his
disciples and along the way he has been teaching them about what discipleship really
means. It means:

•    Going all the way with him even to the ultimate of dying for him

•    Being last and the servant of all for his sake

•    Being dependent upon the grace of God like a little trusting child

     And here we are presented with a powerful picture of faith, faith that cries out and
demands Christ’s attention, faith that gets results and faith that gives attention to Christ
by following after him.

II. Faith that cries out demanding Christ’s attention

Mark 10:46-48 46 And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his
disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the
roadside. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say,
“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent.
But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

     1.   Bartimaeus didn’t qualify for any special attention

     We are told that Bartimaeus was not a person of any social importance. In fact he
was a nobody in Jewish society – a valueless individual incapable of making any
contribution to the economy, to politics, to the arts or to religion.

     He was nothing more than a helpless and hopeless blind, road-side beggar.

     Today in modern societies, blindness doesn’t necessarily mean a life of welfare
dependency. I have worked with two people who were blind, one a social worker and
the other a lawyer and both were competent in their field and able to make important
contributions with their gifts and talents.

     But there were no training programs for blind people in Jesus’ times; no vocational
rehabilitation programs or even sheltered workshops.

     For Bartimaeus it was not about living a worthwhile life it was about surviving and
not being abused. He depended upon people’s charity and kindness to survive and
survive was all he did. He couldn’t do anything for anyone. His life was total darkness
and total dependency. But he also was vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment.

     So he was not the sort of person who would have had a well developed self-esteem,
a confident and self-assured character that was able to assert himself when required.

     2.   So listen up – if you think you’re a miserable, worthless piece of nothing
          who doesn’t qualify for anyone to take any interest, then you’re in the
          right place

       Bartimaeus is famous. His story was recorded and has been told to millions around
the world. This useless and worthless man, existing in total darkness and dependency,
used his deplorable state to his advantage.

       His desperate condition was the basis of his crying out, it was his best argument
that he had for demanding Jesus’ attention. It was a winning argument and he used it.

       A positive self-esteem is not what we need. We need a realistic assessment of who
we are and what we are. Because the bottom line according to Christ’s gospel is that
you could be a healthy, well resourced, well-healed, well-oiled, respectable, important
person – a self-made businessman, a community leader, a sports hero, a movie star and
your destiny is the same as a blind beggar in Somalia.

       Illustration: My conversation with fellow public servants about a drunk who
frequented the local social security office where I compared his destiny with theirs. My
conclusion was “vanity of vanities” – both have the same outcome – death and judgment
by God.

       Bartimaeus was once the object of pity or disdain but now he is celebrated by the
Christian church as a hero of the faith. And why? Because he used his deplorable
condition, his desperate state to his advantage and demanded Christ’s attention.

       So when you realise in those awful moments that although your life is filled with
good health and good clothes and a good house and a good car and yet inside it is as
dark and desperate as a blind beggar because you are without direction and purpose,
living a meaningless and aimless existence and your soul spiritually and morally
bankrupt, without love or hope – then give Christ your supreme attention and demand

       Illustration: Tim Mander’s testimony – an externally all-together man who was
internally dark and desperate, blind and begging for help.

                           Come, ye sinners, poor and wretched,

                             Weak and wounded, sick and sore;

                               Jesus, ready, stands to save you,

                               Full of pity, joined with power.

                                    He is able, He is able;

                                He is willing; doubt no more.

     Bartimaeus realised that he was poor and wretched and that Jesus was full of pity
joined with power. So he cried out, demanding Jesus’ attention and until Jesus attended
to him.

     Realising your spiritual blindness and poverty is a liberating truth. You see you
can demand God gives you an audience on that basis. You don’t care what other people
think about you (because they don’t know the worst) and you know that God knows the
worst and is the type that he wants to meet.

     Throughout life our boldness before God must continue – we can demand his
attention as his beloved children or as worthless wretches – because he sits on a throne
of grace and welcomes both.

     Hebrews 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we
may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. This applies to the sinner and


         The only people that God doesn’t want to be bothered by are hypocrites – play
actors and pretenders.

III. Faith that gets results

Mark 10:47-52 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and
say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be
silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 And Jesus stopped

and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is
calling you.” 50 And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 And Jesus
said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let
me recover my sight.” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.”

     1.   Bartimaeus had faith that gives Jesus supreme attention

     Bartimaeus had faith in Jesus’ person, his pity and his power.

     The term Son of David is nowhere found in the Old Testament. But, similar terms
are found. In Isaiah 11:1 we find - The shoot from the stem of Jesse. And in Jeremiah
23:5 there is the term - The righteous Branch of David. By the time of the New
Testament, this designation - Son of David is a common one for the coming Messiah.

     Christ usually used the Messianic title, Son of Man as He did in verse 45. But, the
Jews used the term Son of David.

     Bartimaeus cried out above the crowd to Jesus and honoured him with the title,
“Son of David”. It was a cry, it was a praise and it was a confession.

     Now we have had a teaching from the OT books of the Psalms, Isaiah and Ezekiel
regarding the Messiah. And I hope that you picked up the primary roles of the Messiah
according to the OT scriptures – The Son of David would be the great RESCUER and
RESTORER of God’s creatures and creation.

     Well Bartimaeus was crying out, “Great Rescuer and Restorer of mankind and
creation, have mercy on me a miserable creature – rescue and restore me!”

     And when he cried “Have mercy on me”, this was the same cry the psalmists of
Israel addressed to Yahweh the God of Israel.

     So this is a significant display of faith. Bartimaeus knows who Jesus is – he knows
and believes in Jesus’ person as the Messiah sent by God. He also knows and believes
in that Jesus is full of pity joined with power.

     Illustration: Bartimaeus is similar to the mother who visited Napoleon on behalf of
her condemned son? The emperor told her the young man had committed the same
offence twice, and justice demanded the death penalty.

     ‘But Sire,’ she pleaded, ‘I don’t ask for justice -- only for mercy.’

     ‘He doesn’t deserve it,’ said Napoleon.

     ‘No, he doesn’t,’ she admitted, ‘but it would not be mercy if he deserved it.’

     ‘You’re right!’ said the ruler quickly, ‘I’ll grant your request and show him

     Bartimaeus knew he didn’t deserve mercy, but he sure knew the only place he
might find it.

     Bartimaeus demanded attention but he also gave Jesus the attention he deserved. It
is a sure sign of a fatally flawed faith if Jesus isn’t given the attention he deserves. You
can’t always tell the difference between Churchians and Christians. But one obvious
mark of a “Churchian” is that it is their church and their church commitments that grabs
their attention, not the glory of Christ. What are you? A Churchian or a Christian – what
grabs your attention?

     2.    Bartimaeus had faith that gets Jesus’ attention

     Bartimaeus’ faith demanded Jesus attention. Bartemaeus’ faith gave Jesus his
attention. And Bartimaeus’ faith got Jesus attention.

     Mark records that Jesus “stopped”. He stood still in his tracks. Such a loud cry and
confession of faith from such a desperate man was the sort of person Jesus was
interested in.

     Jesus loves giving attention to desperate, despicable, deplorable people who realise
that’s what they are and want Jesus to rescue and restore them.

     Jesus loves his work. Jesus loves his mission. Jesus’ pleasure, his delight, as good
as a favourite meal, is to do his father’s will and what is his father’s will – it is to save,
to rescue and restore sinners.

     What sort of church do you want Rosalie Baptist Church to be -0 a club house for
comfortable churchians or a mission centre for reaching and rescuing rich and poor
people, famous and nobodies? Will we be like those who don’t want to keep sin-addicts
outside or those who want them inside and with Jesus?

IV. Faith that attends to Christ (Mark 10:52)

Mark 10:52 . . . And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.
       Bartimaeus demanded Jesus’ attention, he gave Jesus his attention, and he got
Jesus’ attention. And Jesus applauded him with the words, :”Your faith has made you
      No we religiously correct theologians would never say that would we? We would
never say to a new convert, “Your’ faith saved you”.
       But it is theologically correct. You’re faith does save you and you’re unbelief
will damn you.
      That’s the point of the Bartimaeus’ story. That’s the point that Jesus is making to
him, to the disciples and to the crowd. The just will live by faith. Have faith in the
person, pity and power of Jesus and you will live. Have no faith in him and you will die
       It’s all very well to know about the facts of Jesus, to rehearse them in your mind
and to recite them to others. But it is the faith that demands his attention and gives him
the attention he deserves, it is the faith that cries out above the crowd and calls to Jesus,
“Me great Rescuer and Resorer, me, save me, I need you, you must help me”, that’s the
faith that gets results.
        And that’s the faith that produces the result of attending to Jesus as Master and
        Bartemaeus is the only healed man whose name is recorded by the gospel writers.
It is suggested that this is because he became an active participant in the church at
Jerusalem. I’m sure he loved to give his testimony regularly.
      Mark records that Bartimaeus didn’t go his own way. He went with Jesus in his
way, down to Jerusalem, down to Calvary; he followed Jesus all the way.
      Faith that is real and genuine, turns a man or a woman from being an attention
seeker into an attention giver; giving Jesus the attention as the Lord of your life and
following him where he leads, doing what he wants, pleasing him.
      Last night at the Emerge Youth meeting, we looked at some pictures that the
Bible gives of people who have a “pumping heart” for Christ.
      They are not tourists but soldiers in Christ’s army.
      They are not consumers but farmers producing for Christ.
      They are not spectators but players in Christ’s ministry team.
       What does your faith produce – are you following Christ in his mission – are you
a tourist, a consumer and a spectator or are you a hard working, contributing solder,
farmer and player in Christ’s mission?
       Well I hope that Baritmaeus has got your attention and I hope that leads to Christ
getting your attention even more. And I hope that will lead to some intentional dealings
with Christ so that it your story will be well known in the years to come also.


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