Faith and Works:
Lessons From The Miracle of Blind Bart By Babatunde Olugboji
Faith is a very important phenomenon for believers. It is that commodity that gives us assurance on many levels. It pushes us to unwaveringly hold on to God’s promises. It equips us with the tools to do good works, for God to produce his fruit in us. A believer can’t earn salvation by doing stuff. Pitching your tent with Jesus brings salvation, which then enables you to do good stuff.
Faith, the Bible admonishes, without works is dead: “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus, also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:1-17). In other words, we need to combine trusting God with being proactive, which was exactly what the man known as Bartimaeus did in Mark 10.
The setting of this miracle was the road between Jericho and Jerusalem (Mark 10:46). There were two cities known as Jericho at the time of Jesus, about 15 miles northeast of Jerusalem; the old Jericho from the days of Joshua was mostly abandoned; the new Jericho built by Herod the Great was an attractive city. On this occasion there was a great multitude along the road to Jericho, as people, including those milling around Jesus, were on their way to Jerusalem to observe the Passover.
And there was a blind man, Bartimaeus, sitting by the road, begging for alms. On learning that Jesus of Nazareth was walking by, Bartimaeus desperately began to cry out…”Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many sought to silence him, but he cried out even more “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Graciously, Jesus commanded for Bartimaeus to be called: “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.”
Jesus asked him what he wanted from him, and Bart responded: that I may receive my sight. Jesus said: “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” Immediately Bartimaeus received his sight, and followed Jesus on the road, glorifying God, and those that witnessed this miracle also praised God. (Luke 18:43)
Below are some key lessons central to Bart’s healing:
- ASKING: He asked for healing, which many believers do not do, most of the time we only complain.
- PERSISTENCE: Bart displayed persistence despite the efforts of others to silence him.
He exemplifies the truth of what Jesus taught about persistence (Luke 18 about the persistent widow).
- FAITH: He knew if he could seize a moment with the healer, he would be healed, just like the woman with the issue of blood. (Mark 5:34)
- LETTING GO: He threw aside his outer garment (which might hinder his steps) and came to Jesus. Are there things you are holding on to such as unforgiveness, or bitterness?
- GRATITUDE: Bart followed Jesus and glorified God when he got his healing. Do you express gratitude for God’s blessings?
Have a great week.
Kingdom Dynamics, a weekly column written by Dr. Babatunde Olugboji, the President, Kingdom House, a non-profit organization in New Jersey, USA.
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