The second of the Gospel of Mark's three major sections concludes with another account of a blind man who is healed. This story, in combination with the healing of the blind man in Bethsaida (8:22-26), provides a bookend for Mark's central section.
The healing of Bartimaeus (whose name may mean "son of honor") concludes this central section of the Gospel (8:22-10:52), which begins with the healing of the blind man in Bethsaida (8:22-26). Two stories of blindness frame this section, which focuses teaching from Jesus that identifies his messiahship as centered in his death and resurrection. As Jesus is about to enter Jerusalem, the city of David, Bartimaeus calls out, identifying Jesus two times as the "Son of David" (10:47-48). Jesus asks Bartimaeus what he wants him to do for him, and the simple request is that he receive his sight. Jesus sends him on his way with the words that his faith has made him well (literally, "saved you"). Bartimaeus leads readers into the next major section of the Gospel when he follows Jesus "on the way" (10:52) into Jesus' passion.
46 They 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.
47When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!
48Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, Son of David, have mercy on me!
49Jesus stood still and said, Call him here. And they called the blind man, saying to him, Take heart; get up, he is calling you.
50So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus.
51Then 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.
52Jesus said to him, Go; your faith has made you well. Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.
New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org
10 February 2011