Sunday, October 28, 2012

You Make Me Want To SHOUT!

A dialogue follows but if you are reading this, I invite you to ask yourself these questions.

When was the last time you really shouted out?
What about? Stubbed toe, we've had a few banged elbows lately.   You don’t have to tell me WHAT you shouted...
     What makes you want to SHOUT?

A closer look at Bart's shouting: (which he can’t do. .)
      What made him want to SHOUT?   
    What do you notice about the story?
  1. He's blind
  2. He raises a 'fuss'
  3. Who hushes him?    “Silence in the Library”   “Hush”  “Be Quiet”
  4. Does it remind you of any other stories about Jesus? (Let children come)

 What does Bartimaeus do?   It makes him want to SHOUT! And he does!  and
He Jumps up, he discards coat.

What was his coat to him?   Song: All that I will are thine..
Only possession, He doesn’t even think twice about leaving his only protection behind.
Likely laid out to collect coins from passers by.

What happens next?
Jesus ASKS: “What do you want me to do for you?” (Wouldn’t such an offer be enough to make YOU want to shout?)
Bart: “Teacher, I want to see.”
Jesus pronounces him healed (spit-free healing unlike last one)

What does BART do?
Bart is not afraid to answer the question,
“What do you want me to do for you?”
Then he is granted what he asks for and is he Able to see
Begins to follow Jesus, WHERE?
On the Way
On The Way

Bart has moved, from sitting beside the road begging for alms to walking “ON THE WAY” the Jesus’ Way! From along side, to BE-Side Jesus. (Boring & Craddock, People's NT Commentary)
How does this story speak to us?
    perhaps: No guts no glory?

"Bart refuses to be defined by his circumstance - or the expectations of others" 1  Especially the expectations of those who are able to see, yet are really blind to WHO Jesus is and WHAT he is about.

What kind of story is this? - Is it About the Disciples?

If this is just a story about Bartimaeus and the disciples,
Then WE can 'see' some obvious parallels or contradictions.

 Bart the one who recognizes Jesus as God's Messiah - the One who brings mercy.

 Bart is willing to risk ridicule - even shame (a bigger deal then than we can imagine) While the disciples want ‘NO FUSS’ made.

 Bart is ready to be persistent in seeking what he wants - in spite of being actively discouraged by those who are so close to Jesus they assume the right to speak for him.2 (Galloway)
 Bart recognizes Jesus, risks ridicule, and is ready. Bart is genuinely willing to follow Jesus. He Gives up ALL he has to do so (compared to the man with many possessions..)

Recognize Jesus, Risk for Jesus, be Ready

IN the context of the Good News of Mark’s story, we have a stark contrast between the blind ambition of two brothers, James & John from last week AND the CLEAR-SIGHTED BLIND man

    Can you see it? What else do you see?

But what if this story is about more than the disciples?        
Edward Schillebeeckx wrote, "in Jesus' concern for suffering humanity  HE is the living parable of God.. (what does that mean?)
Jesus shows that THIS is the way God looks on humanity.
    (How did Jesus LOOK ON Bartimaeus?)
This is more than a story of the past, even more than a story about Jesus. This is the way God delivers an incredibly important message about Godself;       The story of God is SEEN in the STORY of Jesus.4
    That’s why disciples have always said in Jesus, we can SEE..God!!!

In the ‘Jesus’ (Life) Parable’ - a story with deep meaning and many layers,
    Jesus is victorious over the physical brokenness of the world.

Because God cares so much, Jesus sought, and continues to seek, to cure the spiritual blindness of ALL his disciples.5
    Even us.  . .
We are often tempted to give up on humanity, give up even on ourselves, but God doesn’t.
Jesus invites us, CALLS us to come, as blind as we are, and ASKS “What do you want me to do for you?”

        Do we have the courage to ask to SEE? . . .
We have many definitions of blindness.
    Who is blind? (not proper names, but categories, go ahead and name those who seem blind to you,
    Those you can’t understand...(answers)
        What if we ARE given the ability to SEE? To see them as God sees them, as beloved children. Would we even ask for that kind of sight?
Jesus is victorious over the brokenness of people, which means God can heal those WE’VE given up on. . . AND

God can heal US. EVEN our most persistent blindness.

    We who continue to be blind to Jesus mission and priorities, even after years of hearing his story.
    We who are blinded by our possessions, like the rich young man
Who are worried about are position in life, like James and John,
We who are BLINDED by our settled lives,
set in our ways,
Satiated with all we have.
We who are content to merely make it thru tomorrow, . . .yet in truth we are somehow discontent with life too. . . But we just can’t quite SEE why.

God has already granted victory for us!
    And is waiting only to be asked to give us the SIGHT we need.
That means there's hope -even for you and me. ..

And THAT HOPE “makes me want to SHOUT!” . . .
    How about you?
1 Lincoln E. Galloway Feasting On The Word, Homiletical (Louisville, WJK:2009)215
2 Galloway ibid
3 Dawn Ottoni Wilhelm Preaching Mark (Louisville:WJK,2008)189-190
4 Edward Schillebeeckx, God among us (London:SCM press,1983)31 quoted in Resources for Preaching and Worship Yr. B, Ward and Wild, eds (Louisville:WJK,2002)246
5 Victor McCracken Feasting On The Word, Theological (Louisville:WJK,2009)214

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