Our services will be online for the time being. We are live streaming our sermons through YouTube (Christ Baptist Mokopane) and we’ll also continue to upload a pre-recorded audio version of the same message for those who can’t stream.

The following sermon was prepared by Ps Lucas Stoltz this week for your edification and uplifting.

Click here: Mark 10:46-52, to download or stream the audio sermon, or click here: Mark 10:46-52, for the video feed, and follow the notes below. May the Lord speak into your hearts as you worship.

Mark 10:46-51, Distinct Characteristics of a Disciple:

  • What is a disciple? Generally speaking, a person who believes in the ideas and principles of someone famous and tries to live the way that person does or did.
  • Yet, biblically speaking, discipleship is a personal commitment to Jesus. It means to follow Jesus. It means to count the cost (Matt 8:18-22; Luke 14:25-33). The disciple must daily deny self, take up the cross, and follow Jesus (Luke 9:23).

 

  • And so the call to each Christian is to follow the risen Christ! As the goal of discipleship is to become like Him. But as we saw last week, discipleship is not simply self-centred. Therefore, it is important for us to know the difference between a true disciple and a supposed disciple.
  • So today we’ll look at 2 distinct characteristics of a true disciple, and how we should pursue them constantly:

 

  1. Dependence on the Lord:
  • Text – 10:46-51
  • Explanation – We, as believers, often take Jesus for granted. We only dependent on Him when we really want something. Whether it is deliverance from a trial, or even provision for a desire or maybe even a need!
  • But a disciple looks to the Lord for so much more! And as you might’ve seen in our text, this blind man had more insight about Jesus than the disciples did!

 

  • The disciples kept stumbling over the identity of Jesus, but Bartimaeus made the most insightful declaration when he identified “Jesus of Nazareth” with the Messianic title “Son of David.”
  • This is a distinct mark of true discipleship. You see, those who follow Jesus need to understand who He is. There is no point to following Jesus if we don’t share an intimate relationship with Him.

 

  • Illustration – Now Jesus was in Jericho, probably teaching, but He is passing through on His way to Jerusalem. Interestingly, we find the blind man sitting by the wayside.
  • Beggars would usually sit by the wayside to catch the attention of those on their way to Jerusalem, especially at this time of year when those on pilgrimage to the feast of Passover would crowd the highway.

 

  • What’s more, he was somehow made aware that Jesus was passing by. Now look at v47, “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!’
  • He sees Jesus for who truly is, yet He eyes don’t work! And so, in his desperate condition and when he heard that Jesus is near, “he began to cry out, and say, ‘Jesus Son of David, have mercy on me!’”

 

  • Application – So just in case you weren’t sure, this man has clearly revealed his need and his dependence! The words translated “cry out” are strong. They indicate a scream. This is the same word used for when Jesus Himself cries out on the cross (15:39).
  • So Bartimaeus was desperate. Is there anything wrong with this? Not at all… this might just be where our discipleship begins. An outcry of dependence!

 

  • A dependence for salvation, for provision, for grace! Friends, the Lord might use trials to bring us to this realisation. The loss of a loved one, or the loss of a relationship, or the loss of a job, the loss of health; all in order to bring us to the place where we realise that our need is greater than we thought.
  • And the beauty is that once we realise that we need the mercy of the Lord, He already gave it to us! Look at Bartimaeus, he cried for mercy, not for justice, or anything else.

 

  • Conclusion – In fact, he confesses that Jesus is Messiah by calling Him son of David! In addition, his dependence is shown off by being determined to get Jesus’ attention. Many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!
  • And look what happens, Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” “And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.”

 

  • Finally, Bartimaeus hearing this call, hearing this good news, responded by “throwing off his cloak” after which “he sprang up and came to Jesus.” Now, contextually, a cloak would be used as like the collection plate where folks would through their coins passing by.
  • So when we read that Bartimaeus threw off his cloak, he must keep in mind that he literally threw away his riches to go to Jesus. The rich man had refused to do so and went away sad. This man did so and goes away glad.

 

  • Bridge – Therefore, the first characteristic of a true disciple is dependence on the Lord. Which means, as the Lord’s disciple, we must be willing to leave everything to follow Jesus, to realise their greatest need is to have Jesus, and when Jesus calls us to himself, we can cast away whatever is required of us to respond to the call of Jesus.
  1. Faithfulness to the Lord:
  • Text – 10:52
  • Explanation – This is such a powerful verse! This faithfulness is often overlooked, and yet it is the climax of our passage! In many of Jesus’ past healings, folks would walk away, being made well. Yet, very few were committed to following our Lord.
  • Bartimaeus was not only physically made well; he was spiritually made well. And so the key element here is “faith.” By faith he was restored! This then is more than a healing. When Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well,” He uses a verb sōzō, from which we get “saved.”

 

  • So the healing is indicated by, “he regained his sight,” and the salvation is indicated by, “he began following Him on the road.” The evidence of the healing was obvious, “He saw.” The evidence of salvation was, “following Him.”
  • It’s an amazing account! Not only does he see for the first time, but he sees all things for what they truly are! He knew his need, he depended on the Lord – and know he holds on by faith!

 

  • Illustration – This is very distinct and a necessary characteristic of all who follow the Lord. I’ve had many people ask me, ‘pastor, my loved was in church for years, even baptised, but they no longer go – they no longer have any regard for the Lord; are they saved?’
  • My response is, none of those things matter, the key is to remain faithful to the Lord. If someone walks away, they have not been faithful! And the implication is, they weren’t believers to start with.

 

  • Coming back to our passage, the faith of Bartimaeus was the instrument by which he was restored. He had faith in the identity of Jesus, and this was demonstrated continuous cry for God’s mercy!

 

  • Application – He had conviction, he persevered, and he committed! We see this is the closing words, he followed. The root of the word translated “followed” means “a road.” This is also the meaning of “the way.”
  • This has been a major theme throughout Mark 10, as Jesus was on the road to Jerusalem where he would give His life. The disciples were on track with Him, along with a few faithful others, as well as the blind beggar.

 

  • Conclusion – He came faithfully! And this is the evidence of what changed in his heart. He was willing to follow Jesus to the cross. Because if faith does not lead to discipleship, it is not saving faith.
  • It might seem so glorious, and yet, you haven’t thought through what Bartimaeus is about to see! He is following Jesus to Jerusalem. He is going to see Jesus abused, and crucified… he will see Jesus suffer. He will see the wrath meant for him, poured out on Jesus! But he will also see Jesus risen, conquering death!

 

  • Bridge – and so we see him display two very necessary characteristics of a true disciple as he falls before Jesus in desperation, with a willingness to follow Him to His suffering.
  • Have you counted this cost? Have you made this decision? Are you willing to follow?

 

Application:

  • Let’s bring this home! Today we’ve seen two characteristics to reveal what a true disciple of Jesus looks like. The first is to be completely dependent on Him. The second is to be faithfully committed to Him, no matter how easy or difficult the road ahead will be.
  • Just look at how our Lord saves & serves. He is compassionate, calling a blind sinner to Himself. He never ignores the cry of a true heart of repentance; as He alone has the power to save sinners! That’s why you’re listening to this now.

 

  • As a disciple, or one who desires to become a follower of the Lord, you’ve tuned because we have been approached by Jesus somewhere along the road in our lives. In our blindness, in our desperation, He awoke our hearts to behold Him truly. ‘
  • We’re just like the blind man, we need to the Lord to open our eyes to see Him and live! We need to behold Him, so that we can cry out, “Jesus the Son of David, have mercy on me…”
  • My friends, a true disciple is dependent on Jesus alone for salvation and for the grace that sustains us. But a true disciple is also faithful in following Jesus to wherever he leads us!