In the case of our text, what Jesus has to say about prayer and faith must be never be isolated from the larger story and used to justify some kind of hyper-faith doctrine, which argues that any of us can have anything we want, any time we want it if we just have enough faith and are willing to speak our miracle into existence. That is not what the Bible teaches, therefore, that cannot be what this passage teaches. With all that, said, look again at our passage.
Paul rejoiced in the faith of Timothy, and he credited both Timothy’s grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice for being influential examples in Timothy’s life. Every mother needs to know how important she is in her child’s life. Though some of you may have grown up without your mother in the home, and you have overcome incredible odds to become the person you are now, it still remains a biblical truth that mothers are God’s gift to children and the primary model for nurture and love.
The good news of Resurrection Sunday is that regardless of how low we feel, or how down we get, God is able to pick us up when we’re ready to look up and cry out to Him. But it will require us to lay aside every weight and the sin that doth so easily beset us. It means that we have to call out to Jesus and be ready and willing to repent.
Do you know a donkey like the one Jesus is describing here? Maybe it’s a son or a daughter, maybe a sister, brother, father, or mother. They’re on the margins, they’re bound by habits and addictions, they rebel against the church, against spiritual leadership, and their parents. Some people have already given up on them, but Jesus is telling you to untie them and bring them to Him. After they meet Jesus, they will never be the same.
Mark said that Bartimaeus “began to cry out,” meaning he said it repeatedly. There are times when we have to knock and keep knocking, ask and keep asking, seek and keep seeking, because when we persist in faith, doors open, and prayers are answered. Sometimes we are embarrassed to keep asking, but this beggar wasn’t ashamed. He kept calling, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
As Jesus was heading toward Jerusalem, knowing the suffering and death that was waiting for Him, the full impact of His mission was heavy on His heart, and He tried to share that with His disciples, but they weren’t hearing it. It was go-time for Jesus and the disciples, and now again in our time, I’d say it is again go-time for the disciples of Jesus. Are we ready? Will we answer the call?
Notice that Jesus loved this man. Jesus wasn’t trying to punish him, Jesus was offering him “treasure in heaven,” and nothing is worth more than that. The question now is whether this man’s wealth was a blessing or a curse. Everyone else would say, “This man is blessed, look at how much he has!” But as Jesus had already asked back in Mark 8:36, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
Jesus was greatly displeased that His disciples were blocking the blessing of these children, so He addressed their attitudes, and then, "He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them" (v. 16). Jesus refused to allow His disciples to stop the parents and their children from getting their blessing. Instead, Jesus did four things: He picked them up, He held them in His arms, He touched them, and then He blessed them.
A few things to consider here: First, marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman, yet people have been fired from their jobs for holding this biblical position. Second, it is between one man and one woman, meaning polygamy was never the plan of God. Third, while still honoring father and mother, the husband must make his marriage family his primary family and obligation. Last, the man and woman are now one flesh, each dependent upon the other as helpmates, or equal halves of one whole marriage.
As a parent, when my children were young and they were doing something that they should not have been doing, perhaps something disruptive or even dangerous for them to do, I would yell, "Cut it out!" In the text Jesus doesn't tell them to "cut it out," but He did say to "cut it off," which essentially meant the same thing, "Stop it, and stop it now or face the consequences." This is strong warning for everyone to think about their actions and their lifestyles.