"As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant. 37 They told him, "'Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.'" 38 And he cried out, "'Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!'" 39 And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, "'Son of David, have mercy on me!'" 40 And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, 41 "'What do you want me to do for you?'" He said, "'Lord, let me recover my sight.'" 42 And Jesus said to him, "'Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.'" 43 And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God. Luke 18:35-43
"And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "'Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!'" 48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, "'Son of David, have mercy on me!'" 49 And Jesus stopped and said, "'Call him.'" And they called the blind man, saying to him, "'Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.'" 50 And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 And Jesus said to him, "'What do you want me to do for you?'" And the blind man said to him, "'Rabbi, let me recover my sight.'" 52 And Jesus said to him, "'Go your way; your faith has made you well.'" And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way. Mark 10:46-52
The Lord is on His way to Jerusalem and the cross but stops to lovingly care for a poor, blind, socially marginalized man.
Saving faith is personal trust in Jesus as a living person for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life with God.
THREE TYPES OF “BLINDNESS”
1. Blind and do not know it.
"Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity." Ephesians 4:17-19
"Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them." Romans 1:32
2. The blind who are in the process of seeing. (Mark 10:50)
3. Those who once were blind but now (progressively) see as their hearts are cleansed by faith. (Acts 15:9)
1. Saving faith is more than knowledge and/or agreeing with facts.
"For God so loved the world that whoever believes into him . . ." John 3:16
"But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God . . ." John 1:12
2. Saving faith is coming to Christ as individuals turn from sin.
3. Trust/faith grows as you know the glory and majesty of Christ.
“Jesus Christ has true excellency, and so great is that excellency that when believers come to see it, they look no further, but the mind rests there. It sees a transcendent glory and an unspeakable sweetness in Him. It sees that until now it has been pursuing shadows, but that now it has found the substance; that before it had been seeking happiness in the stream, but it has now found the ocean.” Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), Safety, Fullness and Sweet Refreshment in Christ
4. “Faith has made you well” (Brought to safety and preservation)
1. Have you come to trust Christ personally or are you still at the point of knowing facts without having personally placed your faith and obedience in Christ?
2. In terms of human relationships, do you trust a person more when you do not know that person very well or after you have come to know him/her quite well? What does that fact tell you about trusting in the Living God? How might that trust increase?
3. Explain how a sorrow for and turning from sin is part of trusting in the work of Christ upon the cross. Notice how the blind Bartimaeus throwing off his cloak and running to Christ (Mark 10:40 is a paradigm to our response to the gospel of Christ)
4. Have faith and repentance remained a continuing part of your walk with Christ or have those attitudes of heart grown somewhat weak in your life? (See Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, pg 718)