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!”
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.
We cannot surrender to the culture and allow the currents of moral decline drive us away from our God ordained destination. Instead, we must “fight the good fight of faith [and] lay hold on eternal life “(1Ti 6:12). Don’t stop pressing, don’t stop pushing, don’t stop rowing in the right direction because deep in the midnight hour, God’s gonna turn it around. You are not alone. God sees you and He will come swiftly to your rescue.
Mark recorded that Jesus “could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them” (v. 5). Why so few? It is probably because only a few were willing to come to Jesus. The people could not set aside what they thought they knew about Jesus to believe that He could actually minister to them.
They had come through the storm in the night only to land in an area most devout Jews would have avoided if at all possible. But here they are, and what is the first thing that happens as they get out of the boat? A shrieking, streaking demon-possessed man comes running toward them from the hills where the dead were buried and a very large herd of swine was grazing.
It is evident from what follows that Jesus was physically exhausted. He was fully God, but He was in a fully human body that required nourishment and rest. It had been a long day of teaching, probably much of the time sitting or standing in the sun, and it was evening now. If Jesus returned to the shore, the people would have been all up on Him, pressing in insisting on healing and deliverance from demons. So, Jesus wisely said, “Let’s take a little boat ride to the other side.”
The ministry of Jesus in saving, healing, and delivering people is a powerful attraction when it is the real deal. Too many churches have more hype than hope, more music than ministry, and more preaching than power. However, when Jesus is in the house, when He is lifted up, when the authority of His Word breaks the yoke and sets the captives free, people will show up, business will pick up, and prayers will go up.
We live in a world of hurting people, wounded people who think no one cares and who believe we will not look beyond their sins to offer compassion and concern rather than criticism and condemnation. We can care about sinners without condoning sin, and we love the lost without approving of their lifestyle. They are in the darkness, so we must be the light that draws them to Christ. Only He can transform their lives into something beautiful. We know He can, because for that’s our testimony.
As Christians, we try to model our life after the example of Christ and other people in the Bible who exemplified true Christian character. When it comes to a model for motherhood, two of the most powerful examples would be Jochebed, the mother of Moses, and Mary, the mother of Jesus. However, Mary would have to get the top spot because from the beginning she had to overcome obstacles, endure sorrow, and realize that she would never be the authoritative voice directing the destiny of her Son’s life.
JESUS PLANS FOR KINGDOM GROWTH By Mark E. Hardgrove, PhD Mark 3:7-21, NKJV 7 But Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the sea. And a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judea 8 and Jerusalem and Idumea and beyond the Jordan; and those from Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they heard how many things...