Mark 10:48-49 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.”
I always pictured in this text Jesus doing the calling forward of blind Bartimaeus during their encounter, but today, a careful look shows that was not the case. The task of calling him forth was entrusted to the crowd, the very same audience Bartimaeus had ignored when they were trying to shut him up while he called out to Jesus.
I wondered why Jesus did not call blind Bartimaeus forward himself because he could easily have, and what came to mind was something we always saw in the walk of Jesus: “it was too good an opportunity to pass without teaching this crowd and us who read a valuable lesson”.
The crowd may have become used to the idea of asking everyone to remain silent, that might have been what they had grow with or learnt along the way. It would have been what they knew. Therefore, this was Jesus’ way of saying
‘I will show you what else you can do with your voice’.
By extrapolation, what else you can do with your life and your destiny.
Jesus challenges their status quo by making them do the opposite – drawing people towards him having pushed them away moments earlier and, encouraging and rather than discouraging. We immediately see this in the change in tone of the crowd who went from ‘be silent’ to ‘take heart, he is calling for you’.
Beloved, today’s message is a message of alternatives, where Jesus serves to remind us that regardless of what we knew and did, when we encounter him, we can truly become ‘new creation’.