Today in Mark, Jesus heals a blind man named Bartimaeus. Here Jesus goes again handing out free healthcare.
Despite how close this theme of his hits home, I see this story in a different light. This is not merely a story of healing, but of one that attests to the breaking in of the new kingdom.
Mark is much more crafty than to just have a story of healing pop in for no reason. This story ends a major section in Mark. As we begin Chapter 11, we see a radical departure from Jesus normal modis operendi, with his triumphal entrance into Jerusalem and the Holy Week sequence.
The context: This whole chunk of scripture previous is the disciples and others struggling to see who Jesus really is. They are struggling to understand what it means to be the “Son of Man” and be “handed over to the chief priests and scribes.” We see a transfiguration, and requests to be at his right and left side. The disciples are confused. They are blind to Jesus’ true identity. They can’t see what’s coming.
Jesus’ words to us become all the more powerful then: “Go, your faith has made you well.” As post-resurrection people, standing on the other side of the cross, how much more powerfully do Jesus’ words come to us, as Bartimaeus hears them. We know the end of the story. We are not blind to the crafty literary workings of Mark. We know just a bit more than the characters in the story, like any good novel. In this case, we know what Jesus knew – that the secret got out – that the tomb was empty – that he will rise again, just like he said.
May all the blind see this, and come to know that “He is not here. He is risen!” May all come to know that their lives are not held by the present afflictions, but that we will all be released and made whole, washed in the blood of the lamb, and comforted by the heavenly angels.
P.S. Our faith has never been in our temporal leaders! So turn off the news feed. It is of little consequence. We follow the one who transforms every fiber of our being. He is in control: of all.