by Leah Johnson // March 12th, 2020

Mark 10:46-52
Minneapolis Livestream

Reading, Mark 10:46-52 (The Inclusive Bible)
They came to Jericho. As Jesus was leaving Jericho with the disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus ben-Timaeus, was sitting at the side of the road. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout and to say, “Heir of David, Jesus, have pity on me!”

Many people scolded him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the louder, “Heir of David, have pity on me!”

Jesus stopped and said, “Call him here.” So they called the blind man. “Don’t be afraid,” they said. “Get up; Jesus is calling you.” So throwing off his cloak, Bartimaeus jumped up and went to Jesus. Then Jesus said, “What do you want me to do for you?”

“Rabbuni,” the blind man said, “I want to see.” Jesus replied, “Go, your faith has saved you.” And immediately Bartimaeus received the gift of sight and began to follow Jesus along the road.

Poem, “Blind Bartimaeus”
You thought he was blind.
Hidden from the world and passers by,
just a dirty hand outstretched,
ignored by fear and good intentions alike.
But he could see.

He could see Jesus
Coming from life in the hillside
Toward death in the City of Peace.
Bartimaeus cried out to him
With courage and candor
naming Jesus with steady words:
The Son of David.
The One who has Mercy.
The One has foretold it three times:
This is it. All of it. For you.

And still they shushed him,
either because he was blind
or because he could see everything
more clearly than the ones
who kept order – and him on the curb.

The kingdom of God is like
throwing off your cloak
and daring see what is
terrible and wonderful and true.
The kingdom of God is like
speaking it plain because
you have nothing to lose
only love to gain.