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.
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!”
In verses 22 through 26, Mark recorded the story of a blind man in Bethsaida, which was in a largely Gentile region, but excavations have found a significant, if not predominately Jewish population in the town. As such, it’s anyone’s guess as to whether the blind man was Jewish or Gentile, but for purposes of illustrating a powerful point in the Gospel, it doesn’t really matter what his race was.
There was no escaping the fact that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah because to be the Savior of the world He had to be the Christ, the Anointed One. But Gentiles hearing the story, as wonderful as it was, must have questioned where they fit in the story, which brings us to our text. Found only in Mark’s Gospel, this passage—along with the preceding passage and the passage that follows—highlights the ministry of Jesus in mostly Gentile territories where Gentiles were sincerely seeking Him. Like the Jews, when their faith was sufficient to believe, Jesus could and would heal and deliver Gentiles as well.
Frankly, there are still people who run to Jesus but do not know or care who He really is. For some, He is a symbol of peace and love, but not the Son of God. For others, He is the One they believe will provide health and wealth and make all their dreams come true. Some recognize Him as a historical figure, but they don’t know who He is.
In short, when Jesus told Jairus “Do not fear; only believe,” Jesus was saying a mouthful: Don’t despair, only believe. Don’t give up, only believe. Don’t quit, don’t stop, don’t worry, don’t throw in the towel … ONLY BELIEVE because Jesus is on the way with authority over death, hell, and the grave! Only believe, because all things are possible in the name of Jesus!
Sometimes it can feel like life is squeezing the joy and hope out of us. As we age and our bodies remind us of the effects of the Fall, as friends and family pass from this life, and as the years ahead of us are become much fewer than the behind us, it can be easy to lose hope. But the good news of Jesus Christ is that He has come to restore hope, bring healing, and restore dreams. If in this life only we have hope, we are of all men most miserable, but thanks be unto God that the suffering of this present life is not worth comparing with the glory that shall be revealed in us.
We all want to be liked, and it is especially hurtful when we are doing our very best but people still find fault with and criticize us. Consider how Jesus must have felt: Everywhere He went He was doing good, yet the scribes, Sadducees, Pharisees, Priests, Herodians, and even His own brothers and sisters criticized Him. However, despite His critics, Jesus remained focused on His mission and He would not let the reproach or the rebuff of the haters distract Him from doing what His Father sent Him to do.
Once people realized how special Jesus was, everywhere Jesus went the people crowded around Him. Eventually some of the religious elites began to worry that Jesus might challenge their positions or their authority, so they also began to show up in order to critique and criticize Jesus. They were constantly watching with a critical eye and listening for something with which to accuse Jesus of, such as, fraud or blasphemy. Sadly, in process of their criticism, they likely deprived themselves of the ministry that could have been for them. People who come to church only to pick apart the sermon and criticize the preacher are rarely blessed.
JESUS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING Mark 1:29-45 29 Now as soon as they had come out of the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick with a fever, and they told Him about her at once. 31 So He came and took her by the hand and...