What do you see when you look around you? Are you able to see God's presence in the world? Are you able to perceive the activity of God? Are you able to understand how God is moving, playing, working in the world?
The Call to Discipleship in the Gospel of Mark, Day 50They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Jesus stood still and said, ‘Call him here.’ And they called the blind man, saying to him, ‘Take heart; get up, he is calling you.’ So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ The blind man said to him, ‘My teacher, let me see again.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your faith has made you well.’ Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way. Mark 10:46-52
Jesus has just spent time sharing with the disciples what it means to be a suffering messiah, one who is condemned, killed and risen. In explaining that the messiah comes to serve, he share that to follow a suffering messiah means to be a servant. To be a follower means to welcome the least, the last, the child into the kingdom. The disciples after each of these moments have been caught dreaming of glory, wishing for power, misunderstanding the kingdom and Jesus. They have turned a blind eye to both Jesus and his actions and words. So into this pattern of explanation and misunderstanding, Jesus encounters a blind beggar. Jesus is on the way, when a blind beggar calls out, "Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me." People tell the beggar to stop, they rebuke him for his cry, telling him to be silent. The beggar cries, "have mercy on me." Jesus says to those around him to call the beggar forward to him. The blind man is told to take heart and rise, for the savior is calling. He springs up and came to Jesus. Jesus asks him what do you want me to do for you. Bartimeaus says, "Master, let me receive my sight." Jesus heals him to continue on the way. He followed down the way with Jesus.
Let me receive my sight, in many ways this is the cry of this section of the Gospel. Let me receive my sight. The disciples have been blind and unable to understand who Jesus is. So Marks wants to invite us to seek mercy. To cry out for sight that we may see the kingdom, that we may see Jesus, that we may understand God's invitation to join Jesus on the way.
Let me receive my sight. Let me look upon the word with your eyes. Help me to notice the things you would notice. Help me to perceive you, to see your presence in my life and the world around me. Amen.
Open My Eyes that I Might See