Sunday’s Gospel reading is Mark 10.46-52
When Bartimaeus heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout and say, ‘Son of David, have pity upon me’. And many of them scolded him and told him to keep quiet, but he only shouted all the louder, ‘Son of David, have pity on me.’ … Jesus asked, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ ‘Rabbuni,’ the blind man said to him ‘Master, let me see again.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your faith has saved you.’
In this month’s Gospel readings, a constant theme has been the very different way in which Jesus looks at the world – and the way he seeks to communicate this different value system to his disciples. This has been true of Jesus’ conversation with the rich young man, and the welcome Jesus gives to children and the response Jesus gives to the disciples when they compete for status and position. It is also true of the encounter in today’s passage.
In physical terms, Bartimaeus is the blind person. But, at a deeper level, it is the people around him who lack vision. Bartimaeus sees who Jesus is, and his faith saves him. But the crowd don’t see who Jesus is, or what he is about. They imagine Jesus to be too important, too grand, to deal with someone who is a blind beggar. They don’t yet view the world through God’s eyes – and so they cannot see that someone like Bartimaeus is in fact at the centre of His Kingdom.
In all of October’s readings, the value-system of the Gospels is shown through practice – not simply through teaching. Our response to these passages also needs to be practical.
What light do these stories cast on our relationships – and in what ways do they call us to transform our attitudes and actions?
Pray for Jeremy Aspinall (Director of Communications at the Church Urban Fund) and Andy Walton (Press officer at the Contextual Theology Centre) as they seek to communicate this different vision of human relationships – and the ways in which their organisations and partner churches are seeking to embody the values of the Gospel.