I commend to you this devotional written by Rev. Alistair Begg. – Pastor Benner
He began to cry out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ And Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him.’
All around the blind man, the Passover was approaching, and the crowd was building. There was a great sense of anticipation. For most in the crowd, there was no time for stopping—certainly not for the ever-present beggars that lay around at the city gates. They were always there, known well to the people on the outskirts of Jericho. Many of the crowd likely would have seen this blind man, Bartimaeus, so often that they didn’t even notice him anymore.
The crowd was so consumed with Jesus that Bartimaeus was probably regarded as a dreadful inconvenience. Their reaction to his cries for mercy—to rebuke him and attempt to silence him—suggests that they thought this marginalized member of society clearly could make no useful contribution to what Jesus was doing. But in seeking to quieten him, they became a barrier to the mission of Jesus—to the very one they claimed to be following and the very cause they claimed to be pursuing.
This particular blind man didn’t have merely a minor interest in Jesus, though, so he continued crying out to Him. Mark’s narrative demonstrates Christ’s perfect compassion with a simple phrase: “Jesus stopped”—two words of grace. Can you imagine the crowd’s reaction when Jesus said to the people who had been rebuking the man, “Call him”? That surely brought a measure of deserved embarrassment!
Perhaps there are people in your life for whom you struggle to pray. Maybe there are some you just want to rebuke or ignore. Maybe you just don’t want to deal with the inconvenience. It can seem like such a nuisance to invite somebody to church, sit with them, eat with them, and be involved in their lives. It is messy, and it demands time and effort. We’d rather such people heard the gospel from someone else. It is so easy to slip into this way of thinking without really noticing; but when we do, we become just like the crowd: a barrier to people meeting their Savior. Jesus says to us, Don’t rebuke them. Call them. This is precisely why I came.
May God forgive us when we, like the crowd, are full of indignation at the interference to our plans and inconvenience to our preferences caused by those who are crying out for His mercy. Christ alone does the work of opening blind eyes, but He has entrusted us with the responsibility and privilege of proclaiming these words: “Take heart … he is calling you.”