Worship Service – October 24, 2021

Scriptures: Mark 10:46-52
Message: “A Renewal of Faith.”
Mark 10:46-52
Blind Bartimaeus Receives His Sight
(46) Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging. (47) When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
(48) Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
(49) Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So, they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” (50) Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
(51) “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see again.”
(52) “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
This is the word of God, for the people of God. Thanks be to God.
In the traffic court of a large Midwestern City a young lady was brought before the judge to answer for a ticket given to her for running a red light. She explained to the judge that she was a schoolteacher and requested an immediate disposal of her case so she could get to school on time. All of a sudden, the judge began grinning from ear to ear.
The judge said: “So, you’re a schoolteacher, huh? Well, Ma’am, I finally get to realize one of my lifelong dreams. I’ve waited years for the opportunity to have schoolteacher in my court. Sit down at that table and write: ‘I will not run red lights’ 500 times!”
That joke, coupled with today’s Scripture, got me to thinking. Is there something in your life that you’ve always wanted but still haven’t realized yet? Do you have some unfulfilled dream or wish? Some longing that you’ve never acted upon, because you didn’t have faith or courage enough to ask or faith enough to believe or faith enough to follow through?
Bartimaeus, the character in the Scripture for today certainly did. As we read the passage from Mark, Bartimaeus wanted his sight back. Let’s look at the passage that describes his encounter with Christ.
First, I would like to start with the request of Bartimaeus. Our reading today from the NIV reads, “Rabbi, I want to see.” But in the NRSV translation it reads, “My teacher let me see again.” Such a simple request, such a natural desire. It was one that impacted and drove Bartimaeus’ life. Apparently, once upon a time, he could see. Blindness had set in, either from an accident or illness, and his life’s daily plans and livelihood had been drastically changed. The only way he could survive was to sit at the gate in Jericho and beg.
In my studies and research this week I discovered a couple of interesting things. Bartimaeus literally means “son of Timaeus.” But it also has a couple of other meanings. In Latin it means: “son of fear.” In Chaldean it means: “son of the unclean.” But in Aramaic it means: “son of the precious, or worthy one” and is probably best translated as “son of honor.”
Then there’s the title Bartimaeus keeps using when he addresses Jesus, “Son of David.” That was one of traditional titles used for the Messiah. It means “son of the beloved” or “beloved son of God.”
This reference to the phase, “son of”, peaked my interest.
Just look at all the imagery and irony just in the names. The “son of the beloved” is leaving Jericho followed by his disciples and a crowd. On the way out he encounters a blind beggar, this “son of fear,” this “son of the unclean” who cries out to Him, “Jesus, Son of David”, “Messiah, son of the beloved”. Have mercy on me!”
At first Jesus doesn’t hear this “son of the unclean.” Verse 48 tells us that, “many rebuked him and told him to be quite.” Either that or Jesus let’s everyone else hear what only this blind beggar can see. “Messiah, beloved son of God. Shouting to Jesus, “Have mercy on me!” He finally gets the “beloved Son of God’s” attention.
Jesus calls him over and asks him what he wants. This “son of the unclean” wants to see again. With only a word, Jesus transforms this blind beggar from this “son of the unclean” to a “son of honor.” This “beloved Son of God” restores this “son of honor’s” sight and place in society.
Then, this “son of honor” becomes an eager follower. He experiences, “A Renewal of Faith.” Why? Because he had, “Faith enough to Ask, Faith enough to Believe, and Faith enough to Follow.
Today, with so many changes in this world, the pandemic, the political unrest, economic and social changes preventing us from returning to our normal routines during these days, all too many Believers have found themselves living like Bartimaeus. They have become “sons of fear” and need to be restored to “sons of honor”. They find themselves sitting at the gates of life, begging to return to normal. But is that even possible?
I believe like Bartimaeus, we need to hear and act upon those healing word from Jesus. “Go”, your faith has healed you.” It’s time to come before God and experience, “A Renewal of Faith”. Let’s take a moment and learn from Bartimaeus this 3-step process.
“A Renewal of Faith”, step one. Faith Enough to Ask.
Bartimaeus had faith enough to ask. Some of the people in the crowd thought Bartimaeus was rather bold in hollering and trying to get Jesus’ attention. They didn’t like that bold behavior or attitude. But his boldness gave him the faith to ask. And sometimes, that’s all we need.
Have you ever wanted something but were afraid to ask or you didn’t work up courage to ask or didn’t ask because you didn’t like the outcome or response you previously received?
Last Sunday Bonne and I we’re invited to spend some time with our relatives, at a location that we had never been to. So, we enter the location into the GPS of our car and followed its guidance. Upon reaching that destinations we found we were in the wrong place. Come to find out we had entered the wrong address. So, we redoubled our efforts and asked the GPS for directions again. This time we asked the GPS to guide us to the right address and arrived there safely.
Too many times, in our walk with Christ we are disappointed with the answers we receive from God. Because we pray for the wrong thing. We pray that our will be done instead of His.
Jesus taught us in Matthew 7:7,8; ”Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be open to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
We need to have faith enough to ask, as he taught us in Matthew 6:9-10.” This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father” in heaven hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Instead of asking the GPS, global positioning sensor, we should be asking directions from the God Positioning Savior,(GPS). Bartimaeus did. Bartimaeus had faith enough to ask.
God’s love is consistent. God always loves us, no matter what. God is always willing to transform our names and our lives into “sons and daughters of honor,” “sons and daughters of the beloved.” All we need is Faith enough to Ask.
Secondly, we need, Faith Enough To Believe.
The second quality Bartimaeus had was faith enough to believe.
Bartimaeus had faith enough to believe that Jesus could and would heal him and restore his sight.
Years ago, during one of my visits to see a church member in the hospital, I happen to walk by the maternity ward and their encountered a whole family of folks gathered around the window of the nursery looking at a newborn baby.
So, I stopped and happened to meet the newborns father, who looked sort of worried and anxious and dumbstruck all at the same time. You know that new father look. It’s a girl, he told me. Then as we looked at the baby, she started to squirm and scream. The father looked worried, so I told him not to worry. Then said something about the baby not being sick but just clearing out her lungs like all newborns do.
The father said, “Oh, I know she’s not sick. But she’s mad as hell.”
It took me back a little and I asked, “Why’s she mad?”
The father said, “Well, wouldn’t you be mad. One minute you’re with God in heaven and the next minute you’re in Pennsylvania.”
So I asked , “You believe she was with God before she came here?”
The father said, “Oh, yeah.”
So I had to ask, “You think she’ll remember?”
And he said, “Well, that’s up to her mother and me. It’s up to the church. We’ve got to see that she remembers, cause if she forgets, she’s a goner.”
Bartimaeus never forgot whose he was or where he came from. Everyone else around him might have forgotten and treated him like an outcast, but he knew he still belonged to God. He remembered. Bartimaeus remembered and because he remembered, he had faith enough to believe.
We should never forget that we belong to God. In Hebrews.13:5, we read. God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” We’re called to remember and have, Faith Enough to Believe.
Last but not least, we need; Faith Enough to Follow.
Finally, Bartimaeus had faith enough to follow.
So many of the healing stories end with the person healed returning home to live a normal life, with a renewed faith. But Bartimaeus was so moved that he immediately chose to be a follower. He didn’t hesitate at all. Jumped right up and jumped right in. He saw the light, the “Son of God”, even when those around him discouraged him and had “Faith enough to Ask”. “Faith enough to Believe”, and with the renewal of his faith became a follower.
Bartimaeus, had “Faith Enough to Follow. How about you? Where is there blindness in your life? Where do you need a renewed vision? Where do you need to have your faith renewed? Where do you need to experience the sunrise of a brand-new day?
Today will you boldly cry out, “Jesus, Son of David, Have mercy on me!” All you need is a little faith.
In His Service,
Pastor Joe
Listen To Audio: Sermon 20211024
Listen To Audio: Service 10242021
Prayer of Confession:    Merciful God, our thoughts and deeds too often do not reflect the grace you show us.  Our speech and actions too often do not proclaim your salvation.  Forgive us, Lord, for the sins that we bear both as individuals and as your Church.  Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on us.  Our teacher, let us see again!  Give us the courage to take heart in your grace.  Give us the strength to get up.  Give us the wisdom to hear your calling.
We come to you today, like blind Bartimaeus who sat on the side of the road to Jericho, knowing that you love us and have not forgotten our needs.  Jesus Christ, Son of David, have mercy upon us, and grant us your peace.  Amen.



Pastor Joe will be available at the church on Thursday afternoon from 2 to 4.  If you need to speak to him, contact Pastor Joe at570-267-4570 (cell) or Email: joe.s.travis@gmail.com

Loose change goes to General Fund

Sunday School starts at 8:30am

Choir practice will be on Thursday at 1:00! Please come a join us in singing praises to Jesus! 

Newsletter Deadline – Tuesday October 26, 2021.

“Feed-a-friend” mission ends on November 7th.  Monetary gifts only this year due to Covid-19.

PW will meet on November 11th at 11:00 A.M.

Congregational Meeting November 14th right after church.

EMAIL address for the church has been changed to: fhpc400@att.net  

The PW is selling Franklin Hill Presbyterian Cookbooks called “Recipes From The Hill” at $10.00 each.  All proceeds go to missions.  See Debbie Stalker.

Please sign up to host one of the social hours on the Sunday after Communion Service on the first Sunday of the month. 

On Wednesday November 17th at 6 pm at the First Baptist Church New Milford, we will have our third Thrive worship night.  It is going to be a combination of hymns played on a piano and organ, and some more contemporary songs played on piano and guitar.  All are welcome, regardless of what they might call their home church or denomination.



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