What Do You Hear?

by | Oct 24, 2021 | Sermons

What Do You Hear?

We sing, We want to see Jesus. In our minds we long for the day we might see Jesus. However, within scripture we are often directed to hear Jesus or listen to him. If we stop and do so, what do you hear?

Scripture: Mark 10: 46-52

I want you to take a moment and draw a picture of a church in your bulletin.

Feel free to show your artistic work off to your family and those around you.

Now I would like you to turn the bulletin over and close your eyes. With your eyes closed take a few minutes to draw a picture of a church in your bulletin.

How were the results?

Did you draw the same church? Does the version you drew with your eyes closed even resemble a church?

It is interesting what can happen when we are no longer able to focus, visualize and see what we are drawing. There is a touch of vulnerability around it.

This is a short passage in Mark, but there is a lot going on. The words that catch my eye are “Let me see again.” At one point Bartimaeus could see. We don’t know why or how he lost his sight. Only that he wishes to see again.

Another thing to note is that Bartimaeus was othered, forced to the outskirts of society because of his disability. Society, despites God’s request that the Israelites protect the widow, the orphan and the alien among you had shunned Bartimaeus and pushed him to the margins.

“Bartimaeus is likely poor, hungry, destitute. He is suffering physically. He was told to be quiet by those who were physically abled. But Bartimaeus had faith in the goodness of Jesus and believed that he would be heard.

Bartimaeus lives and exists outside of the city, outside of the path, outside of the light and outside of the economy. Bartimaeus represents social exclusion. Yet, he has heard of Jesus.” (Luis Menedez-Antuna)

Hearing that Jesus is in the area Bartimaeus only does one thing. He asks for help. “Have mercy on me!”

They cry of Bartimaeus is echoed in the Psalms. We hear the lament throughout the Psalms for God to come and intervene. For God to have mercy on us.

When have we called for help in our lives? Whether it’s from family, friends or God? Often I would imagine. And I hope the help arrived, though often it may not appear as we expect or perhaps even as we might hope.

Upon hearing the request of Bartimaeus Jesus didn’t have any questions other than what can I do for you? Jesus didn’t ask Bartimaeus if he was following the law. He didn’t ask him to repent. He didn’t ask him to help others. He didn’t ask him to go to the temple. Nothing, there were no conditions.

Bartimaeus knew who Jesus was. He calls him by name, “Jesus, Son of David.”

“Bartimaeus is ready. He throws off his cloak and leaps to his feet. The cloak here is not only an aesthetic garment. For individuals living below poverty levels, the cloak is a piece that provides warmth in hostile weather conditions, a valuable piece that would allow them to sleep at night or to throw it in front of them to collect money. The garment is also a sign of status and power.” (Luis Menedex-Antuna)

Are we ready? Do we hear Jesus? Not do we see Jesus, but do we hear him. It’s interesting isn’t it. Where else are we told to hear Jesus? Later in Mark, and the other gospels, during the Transfiguration. The voice of God says, “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”

Do we hear Jesus?

In our passage we read about the faith of Bartimaeus. His faith restores his sight. We also observe the free grace that Jesus offers. Grace and healing exempt from conditions. What we also want to consider is what is it that we are blinding ourselves too in our lives and as a church. Should we stop looking and start listening? Amen.

St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church

St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Cobourg is part of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. The congregation was established in 1833 and continues to serve the community.

St. Andrew’s supports the gathering of community agencies, providing space for the Affordable Housing Committee. Rev. Ellis’ voice is key in advocating for improvements in awareness, empathy and action on key determinants such as housing, income and food security. 

Kristina Nairn

Public Health Nurse, HKPR Health Unit

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Thank you for visiting St. Andrew’s. It’s our prayer that this sermon was helpful to your walk of faith. We would ask you to prayerful consider donating to the mission of St. Andrew’s. You can make an online donation through our website. 

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