We're so glad you're joining us today!
When we meet in person, we take time to share our joys and concerns together. Take some time to consider your last week. What good or worrying things do you have to pray for? If you would like, you can share them in the comments of this post. When you're ready, use this prayer, which is really a hymn, to get started.
Dear Lord and Father of humankind,
Forgive our foolish ways;
Reclothe us in our rightful mind,
In purer lives Thy service find,
In deeper reverence, praise.
Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.
Breathe through the heats of our desire
Thy coolness and Thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm.
This week's lesson is on Mark 10:46-52.
We define mercy as “ an act of compassion towards someone who is in need.” Mercy by definition is not earned; it is freely given, with our complain. True mercy is not compelled. It is granted.
Today’s lesson features a man whose life was wretched. But when he knew the Son of God was nearby, he immediately asked for mercy. He understood his need, his helplessness, and his possible healing through Jesus. Blindness was a familiar condition in the ancient world, there was no reliable cure for blindness in Jesus’ day and little understanding of its causes. In all cases, blindness was economically and socially debilitating. Jewish law forbade taking advantage of the blind. (Leviticus 19:14) blindness and sight in a spiritual sense are important themes in the book of Mark.
The restoration of a blindman’s sight was a great and merciful miracle. But in the larger context of the Gospels, Jesus encountered many who were spiritually blind, having unresponsive hearts that refused to recognize of honor him. Our journey with Jesus begins when we realize we are blind and on the side of the road, sidelined and desperate. It’s at that point when we allow Jesus to make us whole. then we join him, joyfully walking and learning as we go. This is a timeless picture of discipleship (Matthew 16:24; John 14:6)
When we consider the necessity of faith, we learn some things about Jesus honored faith. The faith of Bartimaeus was very simple: he believed that Jesus was willing and able to help. The man was not questioned about what he knew or believed about the coming Messiah. Neither was he queried regarding exactly he meant when he called Jesus “Son of David” (Mark 10:47-48) or “Rabbi”. Neither his doctrines nor motives were called into account. When we are in crisis and see no relief, we may say: “Lord, have mercy” without thinking about the import of these words. Yet this is a prayer, imploring God to notice our pitiful situation and provide relief. In that regard may we take a lesson from Bartimaeus, being willing to call on the Lord when the crowd has a different agenda. May the eyes of our hearts be opened to see Jesus clearly and obey him fully (see Ephesians 1:18).
Thought to Remember
Physical blindness is temporary;
spiritual blindness is eternal.
Father, reveal to us our own blindness so that we might be spiritually whole. As you extend that mercy to us, may we do likewise to others. Open our eyes, Lord, and let us see you clearly so that we may follow your Son as he would have us to. In Jesus’ name, the one who cures blindness, we pray. Amen.
Next week's lesson will be on Acts 2:32-33, 37-47.
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We are a small, rural Presbyterian church in southwestern Pennsylvania.