Jesus can heal
Reading: Mark 10: 46-52
Blanks: mercy, Call, faith, healed
(3) Today we saw a person who made a living begging from other people.
He had his own spot where many people passed by.
Some gave him money.
Some gave him food.
But still he was living in a poor condition.
But we know his name.
His name was Bartimaeus.
He was a Jewish man who lived about two thousand years ago in Jericho.
Many priests and Levites were living there.
So he could have been a levite.
But Bartimaeus could not work in the temple, because he was blind.
And in those days, there were not much work available for the blind.
No farm would hire him.
Even if he were a levite, he could work in the temple.
So, everyday he sat at a street corner and beg from the people who passed by.
But since he was able to speak and listen, Bartimaeus heard about Jesus.
He listened carefully when people talked about Jesus.
He was very interested in Jesus.
He heard about what Jesus said.
He heard about many miracles Jesus performed.
He heard how Jesus healed so many people.
Then Bartimaeus started to have faith in Jesus.
He was able to see with the eyes of faith.
He could see God was very pleased with Jesus.
He could see Jesus is the Messiah, the King who was sent by God.
He had faith.
So, he could see clearly who Jesus is.
Jesus is the Son of God.
So Bartimaeus loved to hear more about Jesus.
(2) He heard Jesus was still visiting many cities.
Then one day, he heard Jesus was passing by the city where Bartimaeus was.
Then someone told him that Jesus and his disciples were passing him by right now.
O my God!!!
(3) Then Bartimaeus began to shout something like this:
“Jesus, son of David, my King, have mercy on me!
Help me, my king.”
He was shouting and shouting.
But some people asked him to be quiet, because they could not see what Bartimaeus saw in faith.
They could not see that Jesus could heal Bartimaeus.
So they were like:
That is no use.
But he was like:
"Are you kidding?
Jesus is passing me by.
I believe that Jesus could heal me.
I believe that Jesus could open my eyes.”
Bartimaeus saw this was possible.
So, he shouted all the more:
“My King, the Messiah, have mercy on me!”
He asked in faith.
In fact, he prayed!
Jesus could see that this was an expression of faith.
Jesus heard his faith.
So Jesus wanted to see him.
So, people brought Bartimaeus to Jesus.
(4) Jesus was like:
“What do you want me to do for you?”
Bartimaeus was like:
“Teacher, I want to see!
Jesus, open my eyes.”
He made his request known to Jesus.
Bartimaeus gave Jesus permission to work miracle in his life.
Then Jesus said:
“Your faith has healed you!”
Then Bartimaeus saw Jesus, the King.
Then he followed the Messiah into Jerusalem.
(2) He followed the way of Jesus.
And he was part of the ministry of Jesus.
The writer of the gospel of Mark, mentioned his name, Bartimaeus.
He usually didn’t mentioned the name of the person who was healed.
But he mentioned the name, Bartimaeus.
What does it mean?
Maybe he was saying:
“I know this man.
You know this man, don’t you?
Bartimaeus was a good church member.
He talked about what Jesus had done for him.
And he shared his testimony.
And people got to know Jesus because of him.
Bartimaeus also shared the story of Jesus.
I know this person, Bartimaeus.”
So Mark might have known him personally.
And many people might have believed in Jesus because of his witness.
Now we heard about what Jesus did two thousand years ago.
This story teaches us what Jesus could do in our life.
This story teaches us about what we could expect from Jesus.
This story helps us to hope.
This story encourages us to pray believing a miracle.
(3) This story encourages us to say:
“With Jesus, all things are possible.”
Bartimaeus believed in this.
So Bartimaeus asked Jesus.
And we know what happened to Bartimaeus.
I hope that we also believe that with Jesus, all things are possible.
I hope that we have enough faith to ask Jesus to heal those whom you love.
I hope that we believe that Jesus could still heal people.
I hope that believe that Jesus could answer our prayer as well.
Then prayer is a great treasure.
Through prayer, we can talk to God and listen to God.
We can experience God and what God can do for us.
We all need this experience.
Then we may also share the story of Jesus because we have experienced it.
So I want to you encourage you to pray today.
Pray for someone who needs a healing.
Pray for someone who needs God’s help and God’s miracles.
Pray for yourself if you need a miracle in your own life.
Let’s pray and let’s make our request known to God.
We are going to pray all together.
Then at the end, I will close us in prayer.
Jesus, thank you for listening to our prayer.
Thank you for interested in our life.
Give us faith to pray.
Help us to trust you with our life.
Help us to focus on you and pray in faith as you provides all our needs.
Then may we experience you in our life.
Then may we share the story of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.
We pray this in Jesus name.
What is like to follow Jesus
Reading: Mark 10:35-45
Blanks: know, baptized, belong, prepared, servant, slave
(3) Again at this time Jesus told his students about his going into Jerusalem to die and rise again.
Jesus was saying again and again about his humiliation and death in Jerusalem.
But you know some people hear only what they want to hear.
For example, James and John thought that Jesus was going to Jerusalem to become a King.
They misunderstood what Jesus was saying.
It was also because they knew the power of Jesus.
They knew that Jesus is the Son of God.
So, they thought when Jesus arrived at Jerusalem, Jesus would establish God's Kingdom on earth!
Thy imagined that Jesus would be the greatest king ever.
So as they were going to Jerusalem, they wanted to ask Jesus something.
They were biological brothers.
They have left everything to follow Jesus.
Now, they wanted to be the two most important ministers in Jesus' Kingdom.
You know, Jesus said:
“Ask and it will be given to you.
Seek and you will find.
Knock and the door will be opened to you.”
So they asked:
“Teacher, we want you to do something for us.”
“What do you want me to do for you?”
They were like:
“Let us sit at your right and left in your glory.”
Meaning, “when you become the king of universe at Jerusalem, and as you makes your nation powerful in Jerusalem, have us sit next to you.
Have us rule over others with you.”
(3) Then, Jesus asked:
“Can you drink the cup that I drink?
Can you be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”
They didn’t understand what Jesus were saying.
It sounded like Jesus was about to give what they were asking.
So they were like:
“Yes, yes, yes!
We can do that!
But what was Jesus really saying?
In answer, the cup means crucifixion.
After his death, Jesus would provide his blood of salvation.
That is what we celebrate during communion.
So the cup means his death.
And his baptism also means his death on the cross.
That is what our baptism means.
The baptism means that that we die with Jesus and rise up again with Jesus.
(2) So in other words, Jesus was saying:
"I am about to be crucified.
Do you want to be crucified, too?
I am about to suffer and be rejected.
Do want to suffer and be rejected, too?
I am about to be betrayed by my closest friend.
Can you handle this kind of disappointment?”
Jesus was explaining about his life.
And Jesus was asking whether they wanted to follow this kind of life.
Jesus wanted to know whether they wanted to face these kind of difficulties in life.
If they say yes to these questions, their life is over.
They would live the life of Jesus.
And Jesus was asking:
“Are you ok with that?"
Then without knowing, they said yes.
Then Jesus said:
You will drink the cup that I will drink.
You will be baptized in my baptism.
But I cannot give you what you are asking.
That is God’s business."
When other disciples heard this, they were like:
“So, they want to rule over us, huh!
How selfish they are.
Watch out, because we should rule over them!"
(2) Then, Jesus called all of them over and said something like this:
“If you want to have power and authority to rule over other people and if you want to be like high officials in this world who use their power to make people serve them and listen to them, then you are following a wrong person.
Because I am not like that.
I come to give my life as a payment for saving all other people’s lives.
I came to serve.
I want to give.
That is my life on earth.
If you want to follow me, you need to serve like me.
If you want to follow me, you live like a servant of God and serve others.
(3) So try to serve other people.
Try to meet their needs.
That is what is like to follow me.
That is what is like to live my life.”
(2) Then Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem.
He was humiliated there and died there.
Then one the third day, he rose again.
And after his resurrection, Jesus might have said the same thing to his people:
"I am the Messiah, the Son of God, Savior of the world.
I was nailed to a cross.
Here is my humble cross.
I need someone to follow me taking up their humble cross.
Try to live my way.
Try to copy what I do.
Be ready to die for the truth.
Live my life of service.
Then I will take care of the rest.
Then you will be with me forever in my kingdom.”
So following this Jesus, many Christians died like Jesus.
In the early church, many Christians died for Jesus.
And they wanted to die for Jesus.
In fact, they even made up this kind of song and sung together: 2 Timothy 2: 11-13:
“If we died with him, we will also live with him.
If we endure, we will also reign with him.
If we disown him, he will also disown us.
If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”
This is Christianity.
This kind of life is impossible with our own power.
So Jesus gives us the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit empowers us to serve others and follow Jesus.
The Holy Spirit is providing us God’s power to live like that.
Today Jesus is asking us to serve and live for God and die for God.
Jesus is asking us to follow him.
May we be able to follow him all the way.
Jesus, the servant of all.
Thank you for giving your life for us.
Help us to follow you.
In Jesus name, we pray.
“Give everything to the poor and follow Jesus”
Reading: Mark 10:17-31
Blanks: God, honor, loved, sell, all, come
(2) A rich ruler ran to Jesus.
Then when he came, he fell on his knees and asked to Jesus:
“Good teacher, what good thing must I do to inherit eternal life?”
He was interested in what is good, because he thought if he does what is good, he would have eternal life.
So he wanted to do what is good.
(3) But Jesus was like:
“Why do you call me good?
No one is good, but God alone.”
Jesus is God.
And Jesus is good.
So this young man can call Jesus “good teacher.”
But this young man didn’t know yet that Jesus is God.
So Jesus said that he should not call him “good teacher” yet.
He can call him like that after he know that Jesus is God.
So, first, Jesus is pointing out that only God is good and no one else is good enough.
No human being is good enough for God.
No human being can reach God’s goodness.
So people can have eternal life by God’s grace.
There is no other way around.
That is, eternal life is not something that we can earn by doing what is good.
It is a free gift from God.
God gives it freely in the name of Jesus.
So no one can boast that they earn eternal life, because we all receive it for free by faith.
Everyone receives it for free by faith.
In this way, we have eternal life.
Even Brother Roger, Mother Teresa or Gandhi could not be good enough to have eternal life by their own power.
We all receive eternal life by the grace of God, through faith, for free.
But then Jesus wanted to point out something more.
So Jesus mentioned 5 of Ten Commandment:
“God asks people to keep God’s commandments: that is,
You shall not kill.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not give false testimony.
Honor your father and mother.
Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Jesus knew what to emphasize for him.
So Jesus didn’t mention about other list of Ten Commandment.
Here Jesus only mentioned about loving one's neighbors.
That is, Jesus is asking him to love his neighbors.
(3) But then the young man was like:
“I love my neighbors.
I have kept those commandments.
Is that all?”
According to his standard, he was fine.
He knew that this was a great achievement.
(2) Then Jesus loved him.
Then Jesus was like:
“If you want to be perfect, then be my disciple.
But before becoming my disciple, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.
Give everything to the poor.
Try to love them this much.
Then come, follow me.
I will show you the truth.”
Jesus asked him to be his student and traveled with him.
Jesus didn’t offer this to everyone.
Jesus only offered this to those whom he wanted to carry on his ministry: for example, Peter, John, Andrew and other disciples.
But for this man, there was a precondition.
He needed to give 100% of his wealth to the poor.
He had to let go of all his money.
In this way, he would have all his hope and money and treasure in heaven.
Jesus was challenging him to love his neighbours more than his money.
Jesus was challenging him to love God enough and give all to the poor, God’s poor.
Then Jesus was challenging him to follow him and live the life of Jesus.
Then one day, he might accept Jesus as the Son of God.
Then he might gain so much more because he gave all away.
As for eternal life, he would receive as a gift.
In those days, people believed that God gave money and wealth to those who obey God well.
So this man worked hard for it.
And he was good at it.
He thought that he received all these wealth and possessions from God.
He might have thought that God was blessing him to have all these riches and authority.
So he even ready to work harder to gain more.
He wanted to train himself to gain more.
So he even came to Jesus to get eternal life as well.
But Jesus was asking him to go beyond.
Go beyond this mentality of having more and more and more.
It sounds like a teaching of Buddhism, isn’t it?:
“If you want to truly live, abandon everything and detach from it.”
But, Jesus is calling him to follow him into this unknown.
That is a challenge.
Jesus is asking him to listen and obey and start a new life.
But he had never thought about giving all away.
He had never heard anything like this.
He might have given ten percent of his wealth to the poor.
This young man was not ready to give all away.
(3) But Jesus seems to say:
“With your money and wealth, you cannot follow me.”
(3) So, he went away, because he was not ready to give everything to the poor, and then follow Jesus.
Jesus didn’t need his money.
Jesus didn’t ask for his money.
Jesus didn’t ask him to give money to build his temples or churches.
Instead, Jesus believed if he let go of things, he would be able to see more clearly.
Then Jesus could guide them to do God’s ministry.
So, Jesus asked him to give all away to the poor and follow him.
Jesus didn’t ask this to everyone.
Some students of Jesus didn’t sell everything and give to the poor.
But, sometimes Jesus asks people to leave everything and follow him.
Jesus called them to live just like him.
For the continuation of his ministry, Jesus is asking them to:
“Give all away and then follow me.”
So, no one can say:
“I cannot follow you Jesus because I don’t have any money.”
Or, “I cannot serve God because I don’t have money.”
(3) After this, Jesus said something like this to his other students:
“It is really hard for the rich to follow me, because they have so much to give away.
In fact, it is impossible for everyone.
Even those who have little may struggle in giving all up for God.
But God can help.
So, depend on God.
It is possible with God.”
(3) Then Peter said that they gave up everything and followed Jesus.
That is right.
(3) Then Jesus was like:
“Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for me and for my gospel, will receive a hundred times as much in this age —along with persecutions— and will inherit eternal life in the coming age.”
Remembering these saying of Jesus, many have given up everything for God.
Many left everything and obeyed God.
That is, they were able to love their neighbors in the power of God.
Jesus used their lives to help so many people.
Jesus continually helps them.
Then God used them to change history of this world.
Sometimes, God is calling people to love their neighbors this much.
God is calling them to give all to the poor and follow Jesus.
Then, if they cannot let go of things, they cannot follow God.
Sometimes, only if we let go of things, we may have a chance to know more of God.
If we give to the poor, we may be able to see more clearly.
We may see Jesus as our God.
So Jesus guides us and teaches us to give to the poor, so that we may be able to follow God.
Then we may live like Jesus for others.
Then we may be able to live like Jesus.
We may learn God’s intention for our lives.
We may learn to love people and love God.
Then we may have true wealth and true prosperity.
Then we may enjoy eternal life.
(3) I know a young man who felt called to be a pastor.
But his mother told him something like this:
“Don’t be a pastor because then you will be poor.”
Jesus might have asked this young man to follow Jesus and experience God.
Jesus wanted him to learn more of God’s truth.
Jesus wanted him to understand God who is kind and gentle.
Jesus wanted him to trust in God who is good and merciful.
Then God may use him to bless so many people.
Then he could teach others about this God.
But his inner mother was saying:
“Don’t do that because then you will be poor.”
If you think about this, one day we will all die.
We will all die and give up everything and go to heaven and experience God.
Anyway, today, Jesus asked this young man to love God and love his neighbors in the way of Jesus.
Jesus may be trying to persuade some of us to live like Jesus.
Jesus may ask us to give everything to the poor, and follow him.
Jesus asks this, because he loves them and wants to guide them well.
When we receive this calling, may we trust in Jesus enough to follow his calling.
May God help us.
Jesus, you are enough for us.
Help us to love people and the poor, God’s poor.
Help us to give to the poor.
Help us to follow you in your own way.
Help us to love you and serve you through our life.
In Jesus name, we pray.