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September 5, 2017

September 5, 2017

Day 7: College and Young Professionals

An attitude for revival

“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me! . . . let me see again” (Mark 10:46-52 JM).

The other day, I was walking and saw what I thought was a friend of mine coming toward me. I called out to him, making a comment that was relevant to a texting conversation we had just had. The other person looked at me strangely and said, “What?” After a couple steps I realized it was not the person I thought it was (fortunately it was someone else I knew!). Age has not been kind to my eyes and has led to embarrassing moments like these. Good vision, something I have always taken for granted, is no longer something I can count on.

As we enter into this season of revival, this incident reminds me that I need to ask more probing questions: Has my spiritual “sight” also deteriorated? Rather than growing in my faith, have I regressed? Is my relationship with the Lord something I have begun to take for granted?

Bartimaeus should be our role model. Recognizing his need, as well as the one who can meet that need, he calls out to Jesus and pleads, “Have mercy on me!” Even when others try to keep him from doing so, Bartimaeus refuses to be discouraged. He knows that Jesus the Messiah is capable of restoring his sight. By the end of the account, we learn that his faith was well-placed. His sight is restored and he “followed [Jesus] on the way.”

This is clearly a miracle, a miracle through which Bartimaeus was physically healed. But more than just physically, Bartimaeus is made whole. After his sight is restored, Jesus tells him, “Your faith has made you well.” Later, Jesus will tell the disciples, using this same verb, “But the one who endures to the end will be saved” (Mark 13:13).

Jesus desires to provide us physical and spiritual healing. Only Jesus can restore us and make us whole, making us the followers of his that he desires us to be. We must, however, humble ourselves and recognize our weakness. Physical weaknesses, like my bad eyesight, are easy to detect. Spiritual weaknesses, however, may be more difficult. After all, earlier in Mark’s gospel Jesus asks his disciples, “Do you still not perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened?  Do you have eyes, and fail to see?” (8:17-18). To be restored we must, therefore, have the attitude of Bartimaeus: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me! . . . let me see again.”