Admiral of Morality: From the Sunday Readings

Sunday, October 29, 2006

From the Sunday Readings

On the Road to Jerusalem, Jesus Heals a Blind Man
Mark 10:46

"They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimae'us son of Timae'us, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" Jesus stood still and said, "Call him here." And they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take heart; get up, he is calling you." So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man said to him, "My teacher, let me see again." Jesus said to him, "Go; your faith has made you well." Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.' "

An interesting dynamic is evident amongst the people traveling with and following the Lord. The group is on the road to Jerusalem. The disciples, courtesy of The Sons of Thunder, have just been in an argument based on a simple and all too human request: "Lord, let us sit next to you in your glory." They wish to be made great, and ask the Lord to make it so, knowing full well that He has the power.

Into the wake of this request and argument, stumbles the blind beggar. He approaches the Lord, begging for mercy. Many of those on the road with the Lord shout the poor man down with "stern orders."Not the Lord. As He does each and every time someone seeks Him out, the Lord stops, and makes room for the man, telling the crowd, "Call him here." Jesus talks to the man, hears him out, and in the process the man stops screaming and is energized. Then a miracle: the man sees.

It is amazing that even the disciples, who ate and drank and slept and walked with Him, themselves did not understand the full majesty and scope of His Incarnation. Time and again they display their blindness to what is directly before them, and must be instructed that the first will be last, and the last will be first. Even then, after the transfiguration and the feeding of the five thousand, they still do not see. They argue about who is greater. They insist they can sit next in power to the Lord because they too "drink from the same cup" as He.

The blind man begging for mercy gives the lie to their claims. They would just as well see the poor man go away, or at least shut up. It is the Lord alone who hears the man's cries, who calls him near, and dispenses the grace that is His alone to give. Amidst the petty squabbles and complaints, stands the Lord, extending His hand and His love.


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