No one chooses to be blind. Well there was that one character in a middling-bad science fiction book who intentionally blinded himself to concentrate on science but a) he’s fictional; and, b) that’s dumb. But, does everyone choose to see?
We are looking at the Gospel lesson for this Sunday, Mark 10:46-52, which is the story of a blind beggar named Bartimaeus who has an encounter with Jesus and comes out the other end no longer blind. On its face it is heart-warming healing story told with great vividness and econ0my by John Mark or whomever wrote the Gospel according to St. Mark.¹ We are not required to read more into it than that if we don’t want to but I think there are a few things worth looking at again.
One of these is the interesting question Jesus asks a blind beggar, namely, “what do you want me to do for you?” Why would Jesus ask that question? We think the answer is obvious but is it? Or to put it another way, do human beings always answer questions with the obvious answer or do we sometimes hide what we really want behind something else? Bartimaeus could have asked for untold wealth or who knows what else; he asked to see again.
What I wanted us to think about was two-fold. First, what is our answer to Jesus’ question when it is posed to us? Second, what will we see if we really look.
As always, let me know what you think in the comments or by email or however you wish.
[I am having problems putting the files in their “usual” place so you will have to actually download them, using the right-click and save thing, let me know if it doesn’t behave and I’ll try to figure out what is causing this repeated http error or whatever it is]
¹ Yes I realize there is scholarly consensus but there isn’t that “Hi my name is _____ and I wrote this book, look at my big letters” that we get in some other books in the New Testament.