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April 13, 2008 PM


MK 10:46-51

INTRO: Our text tells us that Jesus has come to Jericho as He journeys toward Jerusalem. The name "Jericho" brings most of our minds immediately to Joshua's conquest of Canaan and the strange siege of the city (of which we can read in Joshua 6). Some have postulated that Jericho is the oldest known city in the world. Jericho in Jesus' day was about 15 miles from Jerusalem, and it was "home" to a large number of the priests and Levites who served at the temple in Jerusalem. It was also "home" to Zacchaeus into whose house Jesus went as a guest. It was during this visit to Jericho that Jesus said, "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Lk 19:10). It was the home of Timaeus and his son Bartimaeus ... people apparently well know to the city. It is blind Bartimaeus about whom we will think for a bit this evening.

    1. Obviously, he was physically blind
      1. Jesus encountered physical blindness a number of time
      2. Jno 9:1-3 - one of the most notable occasions - and a great lesson
      3. bad thing can happen to good people and have no relationship to sin!
    2. And he was a beggar
      1. perhaps this is why he was well known - a person seen regularly
      2. those days offered no constructive help for the physically challenged
      3. such unfortunate people had little recourse but to beg
    3. He had a great need - Mk 10:48, 51
      1. his first cry is for mercy ... his specific need "that I might receive my sight"
      2. do spiritually blind people have need? Do they recognize the need?
      3. physical needs get our attention - here and now needs - but can we be as perceptive about spiritual needs and acknowledge them?
    1. Mk 10:52 - Clearly, Jesus commends this man's faith
      1. healing, wholeness resulted from his having faith in the Lord
      2. in faith there is an element of confidence - confidence in Him in Whom ones faith is placed
      3. ill: Col 2:12 - there must be confidence He can/will do what is promised
    2. He recognizes Jesus as the Son of David
      1. this was certainly a well known Messianic title
      2. he had not seen any of the miracles and works of the Lord - but believed
      3. Jno 20:29 with 1 Pet 1:8 - we, too, recognize (in the absence of sight) Jesus as the Messiah, the Savior
    3. So, his faith was well placed
      1. I recognize that people put their trust in all sorts of things/places
      2. but for mercy our faith must be in God and His Son
      3. Eph 2:4-7 - I so appreciate the words "who is rich in mercy"
    4. His faith was persistent
      1. Mk 10:47,48 - "...but he cried the more a great deal..."
      2. notice that there were many who tried to quiet him
      3. was there concern that "Son of David" had military overtones? Were there enemies (priests, Levites)? Were there well meaning protectors of Jesus?
  1. In his faith he did not care what others thought
    1. no matter their reasons for shushing him, he would not stop calling out
    2. are we concerned that when others may think when they discover our faith, our conviction?
    3. Mt 26:69-74 - in the wrong company we may find ourselves compromising our convictions, our relationship with the Lord!
  2. His faith was certainly active
    1. obviously, this is seen in his continued crying out to Jesus
    2. but notice Mk 10:49,50 - he wasted no time responding to Jesus' call
    3. the very nature of faith is that it acts upon the call of the Master - Heb 11 is a dramatic example of this fact about faith
    1. Mk 10:52b - "...immediately...he followed Jesus in the way"
      1. we have no further information about this seeing man
      2. exactly how he followed Jesus I do not know - I surmise, however, that the fact his following Jesus on the road is recorded means he really followed
    2. Could 2 Cor 5:14,15 speak to this man's following
      1. the appropriate response to the love of Christ is to live for Him
      2. so, Jno 14:15 - this response is clearly identified as obedience

CLOSE: This incident in Jericho has some important faith lessons in it. On lesson to remember is this: 2 Cor 5:7.

Cecil A. Hutson

13 April 2008

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)