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THE EXAMPLE OF BLIND BARTIMAEUS

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles,
Lord’s Day Morning, December 4, 2011

“And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me. And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee. And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus” (Mark 10:46-50).


Mark calls him “blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus” (Mark 10:46). There must have been scores of blind men in Jerusalem during those days. The city was rapidly filling up as thousands of Jewish people came from all over the Roman Empire to celebrate the Passover. In the great crowds that lined the streets was this blind man, “Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus.” Mark tell us his name to distinguish him from other early Christians. Mark wanted the Christians at the church in Jerusalem to know exactly who he was. Since the Gospel of Mark was written only about 30 years after this event it is possible that Bartimaeus was still living, and was still an active member of the church at Jerusalem. Even if he had died there would be many in the church that remembered him. We can learn several things from the conversion of blind Bartimaeus.

I. First, many will try to stop you from coming to Jesus.

Bartimaeus sat by the highway begging. Then he heard that Jesus was coming. He cried out, “Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me” (Mark 10:47). Many people in the crowd rebuked him and told him to be quiet.

Isn’t that what happens when you want to come to Jesus? People try to stop you. If you have lost friends, they will try to stop you. If you have lost parents, they will often try to stop you. Satan himself will try to stop you. It seems to me that demonic forces were at work in those who told Bartimaeus to be quiet, when they told him to stop praying, “Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.” Also, your own depraved nature will try to stop you. You must struggle as Bartimaeus did if you want to be saved.

“And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me” (Mark 10:48).

He shouted even more, “Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.” Jesus said, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate” (Luke 13:24). You must not give up struggling to find Christ. You must “strive” to enter in to Christ. The Greek word translated “strive” in Luke 13:24 is “agonizomai.” We get our English word “agony” from it. You must go through agony, and struggle, and fight to enter in, and come to Jesus Himself! For many it is not an easy thing at all. The powers of Hell are against you. Your own sin-blinded heart is against you. You must struggle past your own feelings and thoughts and emotions to get to Jesus. If you give up the struggle you will never find peace with God because,

“There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked”
       (Isaiah 57:21).

Those who don’t get saved will stop praying and struggling to get to Jesus and have their sins pardoned by Him. They will give up. They will sit in the church like zombies until the Devil at last snatches them away. But those who get saved will “Strive to enter in” until they do! The others “will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” (Luke 13:24). Those who get saved will say in their hearts,

Out of my bondage, sorrow and night,
   Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy freedom, gladness, and light,
   Jesus, I come to Thee.
(“Jesus, I Come” by William T. Sleeper, 1819-1904).

Sing it!

Out of my bondage, sorrow and night,
   Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy freedom, gladness, and light,
   Jesus, I come to Thee.

II. Second, notice that some will encourage you to come to Jesus.

In that crowd of people by the roadside, many tried to quiet Bartimaeus, and stop him from coming to Jesus. But there were some who encouraged him. “They call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee” (Mark 10:49).

The world, the flesh and the Devil are against you. But there are good Christians here to pray for you, to encourage you, to speak to you, and urge you to come to Jesus! Listen carefully to our deacon, Dr. Cagan. He wants you to come to Jesus and be saved. He is a very wise man, with years of experience in helping people in their struggle to come to the Saviour. Pay careful attention to what he says, and actually follow his advice – and do what he says. Don’t give up. Jesus said,

“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16).

“Out of my bondage.” Sing it!

Out of my bondage, sorrow, and night,
   Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy freedom, gladness, and light,
   Jesus, I come to Thee;
Out of my sickness, into Thy health,
   Out of my want and into Thy wealth,
Out of my sin and into Thyself,
   Jesus, I come to Thee.

III. Third, notice that Jesus commanded him to be called.

“And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee” (Mark 10:49).

That is what Jesus commands preachers to do. He commands us to call sinners to come to Jesus and be saved. He commands us to preach the Gospel. Jesus tells us, “preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). The word “Gospel” means “good news.” It is good news to hear that Jesus died on the Cross to pay for your sins. It is good news to hear that Jesus’ Blood can cleanse you from all sin. It is good news to hear that Jesus rose physically from the dead and ascended back to the right hand of God the Father to give you life. It is good news to hear that Jesus is praying for you. Yes, and it’s good news to hear that you can come to Jesus in simple faith and be saved from your sin. “Out of my bondage, sorrow and night.” Sing it!

Out of my bondage, sorrow and night,
   Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy freedom, gladness, and light,
   Jesus, I come to Thee.

IV. Fourth, you must come to Jesus Himself.

But I must again stress that only the elect will come to Him. Notice that there was a large crowd lining the highway that day. Yet Jesus did not call any of them. The text says,

“Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called”
      (Mark 10:49).

Bartimaeus was the only one that Jesus effectually called out of that large group of people. Only those who are chosen will hear the call and come to Jesus. Jesus said, “Many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14).

There is no use in you wondering whether you are one of the elect or not. If you bring election up in the inquiry room Dr. Cagan will let you go. Don’t think about that. It won’t help you. Don’t think about it and don’t talk about it. If you are among the elect you will think about your sin and your need for Jesus. If you are among the non-elect you will think about election, and not about Jesus. Notice how quickly and easily this blind man came to the Saviour. “And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus” (Mark 10:50).

Think only about your sin, and your need for Jesus to pardon your sin, and cleanse your sin with His Blood. Think only about coming to Jesus. And come to Jesus. “He will save you, He will save you, He will save you now!” Amen. Please stand and sing hymn number 7 on your song sheet.

Out of my bondage, sorrow, and night,
   Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy freedom, gladness, and light,
   Jesus, I come to Thee;
Out of my sickness, into Thy health,
   Out of my want and into Thy wealth,
Out of my sin and into Thyself,
   Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of my shameful failure and loss,
   Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into the glorious gain of Thy cross,
   Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of earth’s sorrows into Thy balm,
   Out of life’s storms and into Thy calm,
Out of distress to jubilant psalm,
   Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of unrest and arrogant pride,
   Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy blessed will to abide,
   Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of myself to dwell in Thy love,
   Out of despair into raptures above,
Upward for aye on wings like a dove,
   Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of the fear and dread of the tomb,
   Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into the joy and light of Thy home,
   Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of the depths of ruin untold,
   Into the peace of Thy sheltering fold,
Ever Thy glorious face to behold,
   Jesus, I come to Thee.
(“Jesus, I Come” by William T. Sleeper, 1819-1904).

(END OF SERMON)
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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Mark 10:46-52.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Jesus, I Come” (by William T. Sleeper, 1819-1904).


THE OUTLINE OF

THE EXAMPLE OF BLIND BARTIMAEUS

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me. And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee. And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus” (Mark 10:46-50).

I.   First, many will try to stop you from coming to Jesus, Mark 10:47, 48;
Luke 13:24; Isaiah 57:21.

II.  Second, notice that some will encourage you to come to Jesus,
Mark 10:49; 16:16.

III. Third, notice that Jesus commanded him to be called, Mark 10:49;
Mark 16:15.

IV. Fourth, you must come to Jesus Himself, Mark 10:49; Matthew 22:14;
Mark 10:50.