• Going Deeper: Growing in Faith and Knowledge

Bible Study Discussion Guide Fall 2018, Proper 25: Sunday, October 28

The Rev. Patrick Ward
October 21, 2018

• Jeremiah 31:7-9

• Psalm 126

• Hebrews 7:23-28

• Mark 10:46-52

 

This last healing story in Mark’s Gospel is inconvenient. Jesus and his disciples are on the road to Jerusalem and earlier in this chapter Jesus has foretold his death and resurrection for a third and final time. The next chapter begins with Jesus’ triumphal entry at the beginning of Holy Week. As the Gospel is accelerating towards its climax, a blind man interrupts the story and demands attention. By addressing Jesus as “Son of David” Bartimeus is recognizing Jesus as the promised Messiah and he will not let himself be pushed aside. While many people tell Bartimeus to be quiet and stay out of the way, Jesus stops, asks what he needs, and praises him with “you have great faith” while granting his request.

 

Like the Isaiah text we read last week. in this passage Jeremiah is foretelling an ultimate return from exile. Jeremiah prophesied in the forty years leading up to Babylon capturing Jerusalem and taking the people into captivity and exile. Many prophets had called the people to repentance but they were not heeded. Now the time for repentance had passed and Jeremiah tells the people that God’s judgment is at hand. However, even within this very dark message there is a section of hope. Exile will last for seventy years, but it will not last forever. A time will come when God will lead the people back home. This knowledge will help them endure the looming period of exile.

 

The people of Judah would have had every reason to despair once the Babylonians captured Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple, but this promise of restoration enabled them to persevere through the period of exile. On a smaller scale, Bartimeus needed his faith that Jesus could and would heal him in order to keep asking for what he needed when everyone else was telling him to stay quiet and out of the way. The reading from Hebrews tells us the content of our hope as Christians -- Jesus is our eternal and perfect high priest whose sacrifice on our behalf is complete.

 

• What situations in our world or our own lives need healing and restoration? What do you want Jesus to do for you?

• When have you needed to keep crying out when other people told you to stay quiet?

• What gives you hope to persevere through hardship?

Comments

At "Going Deeper," enrich your spiritual journey by exploring our resources including videos of lectures, essays by priests, and other pieces about our faith, our church, and what it means to be a disciple of Jesus in the 21st century.