Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost October 25, 2015
Jesus, Have Mercy!
It was a day just like other days. It was a day of traveling from town to town. All along the way, the entourage and the masses followed the Master. It was Jesus walking with his disciples—all the while sur-rounded by countless more who all wanted something from the Master. A word . . . a touch . . . a miracle. They all wanted some-thing.
We do not know how many actually received what they asked or demanded that Jesus give them. The only thing we know about that particular day, is that at least one, a man named Bartimaeus, did receive what he asked for. So what made him different from the rest?
Perhaps it started with his initial request. Others asked for miracles. How often does that still happen—people demanding miracles? Recognizing the power, but ignoring the Provider. But Bartimaeus did not ask for healing, or for success, or for possessions or wealth. What he did ask for was mercy.
Then, when Jesus asked what he wanted, Bartimaeus replied, “Let me see again” (Mark 10:51). No demand. Just the recognition that what happened next was in Jesus’ hands and not his. This is the opposite of what we usually hear: “Give me what I want, Jesus. I want it. I want it all. And I want it now.” I want fame. Wealth. Riches. Glamour. Power. Seldom, however, do we humbly ask for mercy.
They all wanted something. But it was a blind man who was different. He was able to see what most people could not. He saw the real Jesus. Powerful enough to give us what we want. Loving enough to give us what we need. Wise enough to know the difference.
Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on us!
Duane Ullrich, pastor, New Dorp Moravian Church, Staten Island, New York