Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost: Proper 25

Track 1: The Miracle of Seeing

Job 42:1-6, 10-17
Psalm 34:1-8, (19-22)
Hebrews 7:23-28
Mark 10:46-52

Today, let us compare and contrast two very different people in the Bible. One was a very rich man who stood above his peers before God and the other was a blind beggar.

Let us first look at Job first. Though he was an honored man, God allowed Satan to severely test Job. When he complained to God, God answered him with this question: “Where were y9u when I laid tye foundation of tye earth?” His eyes were opened to the greatness of God, and Job responded:

“I know that you can do all things,
and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.

‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’

Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.

‘Hear, and I will speak;
I will question you, and you declare to me.’

I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
but now my eye sees you;

therefore I despise myself,
and repent in dust and ashes.”   (Job 42:1-6)

Job was a great man, but he did not quite understand who God was and is. God healed job and restored his fortunes twofold.

Now let us look at the blind beggar. Reading from Mark’s Gospel:

Jesus and his disciples came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.” So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.   (Mark 10:46-52)

What is remarkable about Bartimaeus is that he had some understanding of who Jesus was. He knew that Jesus had descended from King David and was a promise from God. He also realized that Jesus could heal him. Thus, he did not complain about his blindness. He called Jesus “my teacher.” How many of the religious leaders of the day did that?

Bartimaeus was not rich, but he was rich in faith. Jesus said to him: “Go; your faith has made you well.”

Job and Bartimaeus were different, but they had something things in common. Though they were both afflicted, but they did not curse God. They both exercised their faith and followed the teachings of God. Bartimaeus followed Jesus on the way. Job forgave all his so-called friends ajd pra7ed for them.

How many of us who have been afflicted in some way, have grown stronger in our faith? How many of us have casts all our cares on Jesus? How many of us follow him more closely than ever. His way is the way to everlasting life.

Track 2: Suggestion

Jeremiah 31:7-9
Psalm 126
Hebrews 7:23-28
Mark 10:46-52

In the Old Testament and Gospel readings we have two events where God took the blind and gave them sight and then set the on the right path. First from Jereiaih:

See, I am going to bring them from the land of the north,
and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth,

among them the blind and the lame, those with child and
those in labor, together;
a great company, they shall return here.

With weeping they shall come,
and with consolations I will lead them back,

I will let them walk by brooks of water,
in a straight path in which they shall not stumble;

for I have become a father to Israel,
and Ephraim is my firstborn.   (Jeremiah 31:8-9)

In the Gospel Jesus heals Bartimaeus:

Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher,[a] let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.   (Mark 10:51-52)

Bartimaeus was blind but was made to see. When he saw he followed Jesus on the way, Jesus is the way, and the truth, and the light. The days are dark. We heed the light of Christ to follow, otherwise we are spiritually blind and and scattered as was Israel.

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Filed under Eucharist, Gospel, homily, Jesus, lectionary, liturgical preaching, liturgy, Pentecost, preaching, Revised Common Lectionary, sermon, sermon development, Year B

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