Tuesday after Sexagesima
Scripture: St. Mark 10:32-52 (NKJV)
10:32 Now they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was going before them; and they were amazed. And as they followed they were afraid. Then He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them the things that would happen to Him: 33 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; 34 and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.”
35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.”
36 And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?”
37 They said to Him, “Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.”
38 But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”
39 They said to Him, “We are able.”
So Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized; 40 but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared.”
41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be greatly displeased with James and John. 42 But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. 44 And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
46 Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
48 Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
49 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called.
Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.” 50 And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus.
51 So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?”
The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.”
52 Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.
After our Lord Jesus instructs His disciples in what was about to happen to Him, we are presented with two contrasting scenes. In the first scene, St. James and St. John request that they be given the highest seats of authority in the kingdom, to sit on the Lord’s left and right. They seek power and authority. They do not understand what they ask. To sit with the Lord Jesus means to endure His suffering and pain, His mocking and scourging. They will indeed drink this cup of our Lord, even though it is not what they expect to happen at this time.
The second scene involves a blind man, Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus. What is his request of the Lord? It is not for glory or fame, but for mercy. He cries out with a loud voice until his prayer is answered, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” His blindness is a result of sin in this world. Bartimaeus suffers blindness because this world is trapped in the darkness of sin. But unlike St. James and St. John, who in their spiritual darkness ask for something that cannot be given to them, Bartimaeus sees the Lord Jesus as the source of light. Not only is He the source of light which cures Bartimaeus’ blindness, but He shines in this dark world to drive back sin and enlighten all those who believe on Him. For this reason Bartimaeus’ request is granted. He is shown the mercy that his faith hoped for and he is given his sight.
We pray: O God, who seest that we put not our trust in anything that we do, mercifully grant that by Thy power we may be defended against all adversity; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.