He Calleth Thee
Mark 10:46-52
And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus…

The analogy would be perfect, if those who were sent to Bartimeus had themselves been blind, until their eyes had been opened by Christ. And who can say that it was not so with some of them? Then with what generous indignation must they have heard the cruel rebukes of the multitude! Then, too, with what alarmed sympathy would these men, once blind, now seeing, have regarded Bartimeus, if he had wavered in his earnestness after Christ! And with what alacrity would these messengers of Christ have hastened to bear His words of welcome to the blind man! Joy beyond expression would have inspired them. I have heard of a caravan which had lost its way in the desert. For days they could find no water. The suffering was sore, and many were perishing. Men were out in all directions searching for the water that was to be indeed water of life. At last, faint and ready to die, one man lighted on a spring. Cool and clear the stream gushed from the rock. Almost frantic with thirst, he rushed forward and drank, drank. Oh, how deep was the bliss of that draught! Is it strange that for one moment be thought only of himself? But suddenly the perishing multitude came before his mind, and he leaped up, and ran shouting, "Water! water! Enough for all! Come and drink!" And so from rank to rank of that scattered host he sped, until he had told them all, and was himself thirsty again. But when he saw the eager crowds rushing to the fountain, when be beheld the refreshment and gladness of all hearts and faces, and then stooped once more himself to drink the liberal stream, was not his second draught full of deeper bliss than even the first? Had he ever tasted such water as that? O blessed souls who have drank of the river of life, lift up your voice upon the mountains, and let your feet be swift upon the plains, publishing the good tidings of salvation. This brings to view the joyfulness of the gospel. It is not a message of gloom, a thing to be whispered in darkness as a dreadful secret. We dishonour the gospel when we would recommend it by a melancholy visage. Such is the spirit of the tidings these messengers bring to Bartimeus, in this, his second gospel sermon. The first told him simply that Jesus was passing by. Now he hears these heart reviving words, "Be of good comfort; rise; He calleth thee." "Be of good comfort." On thy long night, without moon or star, or even a dim candle in thy dwelling, the Day star is dawning. Thine eyes have never been used but for weeping; they seemed only made for tears. But now they shall serve thee for seeing. Sinners, poor, wretched, and blind, but crying for the Saviour, be not disconsolate. "Be of good comfort." After your night of weeping, your morning of joy has come. "Rise!" say the preachers to Bartimeus, and so we cry. There is salvation for the sinner, none for the sluggard. Rise, then, ye unpardoned, Away with your fears and doubts. They are unreasonable and wicked. Break off your indifference. It is a noiseless chain, indeed, but be not deceived; the chain that does not clank is the tightest. Let me take the trumpet of the Holy Ghost, and may He fill it with sound that shall pierce your heart; — Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light! "He calleth thee." What more canst thou want, Bartimeus? If He calls thee, He will cure thee. If He calls, who can forbid? Thy call is thy warrant. The call of Christ is warrant enough for any sinner. He may use it against the Law and Satan and his own evil conscience. For example, Satan comes to him and says — "What, wretch! art thou going to Christ?" "Ay, that I am, with all my heart." "But will He receive thee?" "Ay, that He will, with all His heart." "Truly, thou art a brave talker! Who taught thee this lofty speech?" "Nay, my speech is lowly, and I learned it of my Lord." "But where is thy warrant?" "None can go to Christ without a warrant." "He calleth me — be that my warrant!" "But where is thy fitness?" says Satan, shifting his ground. "Be my warrant my fitness — He calleth me," answers the sinner, keeping his ground, his only ground. "But listen, soul! Thou art going before a King. He cannot look upon iniquity" (for you see Satan can quote Scripture), "and thou art but a mass of iniquity" (here the devil affects a great horror of it, to fill the sinner with fear). "The heavens are not clean in His sight; how then shall thy filthiness appear before Him? Look at thy rags, if thy blind eyes will let thee, and say, what a dress is this to take into His presence!" "It is all true," says the contrite sinner, "still I will go, for He calleth me. I will bind this call about me and it shall be my dress, till He give me another. I will hold up this call, written with His own hand, and signed with His own name, and sealed with His own blood, and it shall be my defence and plea. Miserable and unworthy as I am, and deserving, I know, to die, with this I have boldness and access with confidence, saying only, like little Samuel, Here am I, for Thou didst call me!" Bartimeus needed no more. "Casting away his garment, he rose and came to Jesus." It could not be otherwise. True earnestness does not wait. Conscious wretchedness in the presence of a trusted Saviour cannot delay. Only half-convictions can procrastinate. The ancient heathen had this saying: "The feet of the avenging deities are shod with wool." Shod with wool! Yes, they crept with noiseless steps, that the touch that aroused might be the blow that destroyed. It is not so with our merciful God. He sounds an alarm that we may seek a refuge. His thunder rolls along the distant horizon, that we may take in sail and be ready for the storm, the storm which would have burst upon us no less surely without this gracious warning. As Bartimeus rose to hasten to Jesus, he "cast away his garment," his loose upper robe. He would suffer no hindrance. He may have thrown it aside unconsciously, but it was the action of nature — nature in earnest for some great end. Let us take the lesson. If we would win Christ, we must lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily besets us — the sin we have daily wrapped about us like our garment.

(Prof. W. J. Hoge.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.

WEB: They came to Jericho. As he went out from Jericho, with his disciples and a great multitude, the son of Timaeus, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the road.

Every Sinner is a Beggar
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