Meet Blind Bartimaeus, a man who seems at first blush to be nothing more than a bit player in this most dramatic and poignant moment.
As you will hear in this PODCAST, this wasn’t the first time that Jesus healed a blind man. Nor is this the first time we have talked about Jesus healing a blind man. Last November, Podcast 141, comes to mind. So I would totally understand if you were tempted to bring to this story a sense of “been there, done that,” Déjà vu all over again. Like, if you’ve seen one blind-man-healing, you’ve seen them all, right? WRONG!
As I said just a moment ago, this story is both dramatic and poignant.
The implications of this story, both for the Jews of Jesus’ day, and for the entire world in our day, cannot be overstated. This story is indeed dramatic, dramatic in the extreme.
Nor can we overstate the emotional state Jesus must have been in at this most significant moment of His ministry, as the final chapter of His life is about to unfold. Emotions that infuse this story with feeling from start to finish. A story poignant to a palpable degree.
To be perfectly honest, there is so much going on here that I’m really in a quandary as to where to start. So let me start with this: In the Middle East, both in Jesus’ day, and in our own day, Symbolism = Substance.
Symbolism = Substance. IOW, as I’ve said so often, the Bible is God’s picture book. The biblical writers were painters. The visual means something. Symbolism = Substance.
In this story about yes, yet another blind man being healed by Jesus, it really is all about the optics. The symbolism. The connections that the original readers would have made in their minds as they read Matthew, Mark, and Luke’s account of this miracle
The symbolism of What happened (the healing of Blind Bartimaeus), When it happened (c. AD 30, just days before Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem), and Where happened (Jericho).
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God bless you richly as you listen.