32 Now they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was going before them; and they were amazed. And as they followed they were afraid. Then He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them the things that would happen to Him: 33 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; 34 and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.”
Jesus had already been telling the disciples that He was going to be murdered and rise on the third day. Jesus has already received threats to His life. But we see Jesus courageously marching forward to the destiny, no matter how hard it might be to face. He walks ahead of them. The disciples are starting to put things together and know that He is not well received in Jerusalem where they are heading. They do not yet get that this is what must happen. Jesus was not concerned with Himself on these things, but He is concerned with The disciple and their understanding. When we face hard times what is our concern? Is it will ourselves or with others. When we shift the focus off of ourselves we tend to do better.
35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.”36 And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?” 37 They said to Him, “Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.”
Here is proof that the disciples were not getting it yet. They are asking for positions of power in the kingdom they think Jesus is going to establish on this journey into Jerusalem. We can criticize the disciples her, but at the heart of most of us that is what we truly want and ar truly desiring, to be great and to be known for that greatness.
38 But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” 39 They said to Him, “We are able.” So Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized; 40 but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared.”
We can often ask for things like this as well, things that sound great, but we have no idea what it truly entails. Even when we are asked if we are ready and understand what it means we answer quickly, looking only at the pride of it and not the reality. To truly follow Jesus does mean suffering and pain and rejection in this life. Is that something we have really considered? Even though the disciples would face those things it was not for Jesus to give that position at this time. Are you willing to follow Him, even without a title or position?
41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be greatly displeased with James and John.
They were not displeased because they were wrong in asking, but because they sneakily went and asked. That was something that the disciples were likely all thinking. They were with Him following Him for the last three years. To them it looked like Jesus was going to go establish His kingdom. It would then make sense that Jesus would need to pick His right and left hand men. They would all want that honor. However they were not yet understanding things as thy truly were. The suffering servant messiah did not make sense to them, they were awaiting the conquering King.
42 But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. 44 And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Here Jesus redefines what it should look like to be a ruler. As of now what they have seen was someone who would lord their power and authority over them. That is not the way to power in God economy. It has always been and will always be to serve others. The way up is down. The example we follow is Jesus. He did not come to have His subjects serve Him. No, not at all. He came to serve His people in love. That is exactly what we need to do as well, serve each other in love. It brought Jesus to the point of death on the cross that He gladly took for the payment of our sins. We need to love each other and serve each other even when it hurts.
46 Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Bartimaeus was a blind beggar who has great need and has heard of Jesus. As He is sitting there he hears the crowd go by and he realizes that Jesus is in the midst of the crowd. He calls out for mercy from the Lord. Mercy is what we all need from the Lord. I love that he came in this way.
48 Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
The crowd tried to quiet him. That seems like it does happen from time to time, we ar out trying to have relationship with Jesus, crying out from the depths of our great need. But instead of being helped we are told to be quiet to head to the background. That did not stop tis guy and it should not stop us. Cry out to Jesus until He answers you, and He will answer those who call to Him in faith.
49 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.” 50 And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus.
Jesus hears him and stops calling for him. Jesus never misses us, He never overlooks us, and He never walks on past us. When we hear His call our response should be like this guys, thrown off everything that holds us down and go to Him.
51 So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.” 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.”And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.
This may seem like a silly question, but there is always purpose in Jesus’ asking. Thus far the man has asked for mercy, but has not admitted his need. The term he uses here is more than teacher, it takes on the context of master. This guy identifies who Jesus is to him and we see this to be true as he gets up and follows Him once he receives his sight. How do you identify Jesus, is He master of your life?