So he called out, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"
passing by!" We see here -
I. THE SORENESS OF OUR SPIRITUAL NEED. We are blind, helpless, suffering the worst privations, under the dominion of sin. We recognize rot our Father, our brethren, our true selves, our true opportunities, our chief perils, our real interests; and our blindness is not only immeasurably reducing the value of our present life, but is leading us to that which is darker still and sadder far.
II. THE NEAR PRESENCE OF JESUS CHRIST. A Divine Deliverer is at hand. Quite near to us, within reach of our voice, within touch of our hand, is One who can open our eyes and make us see clearly all that we need to know. At our very door is One who is not only ready at our entreaty, but even prepared already and eager to supply all our need. Here is One who offers to:
1. Enlighten our mind.
2. Restore the relationship to God our Father we have lost by our sin.
3. Constitute himself our almighty and unchanging Friend and Guide through all our life.
4. Conduct us and receive us to a heavenly home.
III. THE PASSING OF PRESENT OPPORTUNITY. This priceless chance is ours to-day; but how long will it remain within our reach? Jesus of Nazareth is near, but he is passing.
1. We know nothing of Christian privilege beyond the grave, and our life is hastening on; it may close at any hour, and it is hurrying away on the swift wings of duty and of pleasure.
2. The favoured period of youth is still more transient. Christ is very near us in the golden days of youth, when the spiritual nature is so open and so responsive; but how fast these days are fleeing! how soon will they be gone!
3. The hour of special grace and of rare privilege is but an hour - that time when Heaven puts forth its most constraining influences, and we see and feel that the gates into the kingdom of God are opened wide for our entrance, We cannot afford to delay when Jesus of Nazareth is near us. When eternal life is within our grasp, we must compel every other interest to take the second place; and this, not only because it is of such transcendent value, but because we may never have so golden an opportunity again. There is "a tide" in the history of every man which leads on to something more than "fortune;" it leads unto life - the life that is Divine and everlasting. On no account whatever must that be "omitted." Foolish beyond all reckoning, as well as guilty before God, is the soul that lets Jesus of Nazareth pass by without seeking his feet and finding his favour. - C.
A certain blind man sat by the wayside.
I. THE IMPORTANCE OF THE IMMEDIATE SEIZING OF OPPORTUNITIES.
II. THE IMPORTANCE OF PERTINACITY, IN THE AFFAIRS OF THE SOUL.
III. THE ROOT OF THIS PROMPTNESS OF ACTION — OF THIS UNDAUNTED PERTINACITY — WAS FAITH.
IV. THE RESTORED SIGHT IS USED IN FOLLOWING CHRIST, AND IN GLORIFYING GOD.
Clergyman's Magazine.I. HINDRANCES WHICH BESET US IN COMING TO CHRIST FOR MERCY.
1. Our own blindness.
2. Impediments that others cast in the way.
II. ACTIONS OF ENCOURAGEMENT FOR OUR COMING TO CHRIST.
1. Jesus stood still.
2. On Jesus showing Himself favourable, then at once did multitude.
3. In eagerness to go to Jesus, man left garment behind (Mark 10:50). Must cast off custom and habit of sin. Then, going to the Saviour will be easy, and prayer will be heard and answered.
III. BLESSING RECEIVED; EFFECT PRODUCED.
1. What the poor man willed, the Lord granted.
2. A new follower.Application:
1. Let no worldly hindrances debar from Christ.
2. Many encouragements to go. Go.
3. Having gone, truly, wholly — surely follow Him.
(Clergyman's Magazine.)I. Now, looking stedfastly that this may be the case, I wish to speak very pointedly to you about two or three things. First, when Jesus passed by the blind man it was to that man A DAY OF HOPE. It was an hour of hope to that blind man, and if Jesus passes by now this is an hour of hope to you. But, does He pass by? I answer — Yes. There are different respects in which this may be interpreted of our Lord's conduct. In a certain sense He has been passing by some of you ever since you began to discern right from wrong. More especially is is a time of Christ's passing by when the gospel is preached with power.
II. Secondly, as it was a time of hope to that poor blind man, so was it especially A TIME OF ACTIVITY. You that anxiously desire salvation, regard attentively these words. A man cannot be saved by what he does; salvation is in Christ, yet no man is saved except as he seeks earnestly after Christ.
1. This man listened attentively.
2. He inquired with eagerness what it meant.
3. When this man had asked the question, and had been told in reply that Jesus of Nazareth passed by, notice what he did next, he began to pray. His cry was a prayer, and his prayer was a cry.
4. After this man had thus pleaded, it is noteworthy that Jesus stood still and called him. That much-prized, though all patched and filthy garment, he threw right away; it might have made him a minute or two slower, so off he threw it, and away he flung it. Ah! and it is a great mercy when a poor soul feels that it can throw away anything and everything to get to Christ.
5. Once more. When this man had come to Jesus, and Jesus said to him, "What wilt thou that 1 should do unto thee?" the man returned a straightforward and intelligent answer, "Lord, that I might receive my sight."
6. Still, I cannot withhold one other remark. That which really brought salvation to this blind man was his faith, for Christ says, "Thy faith hath saved thee." Now, here is the greatest point of all — faith! Faith; for work without faith is of little worth. Faith is the great saving grace; it is the real life-germ.
III. It was also AN HOUR OF CRISIS.
IV. Lastly, remember that this hour of Jesus passing by is AN HOUR THAT WILL SOON BE GONE. Did you notice that word, "Jesus of Nazareth passeth by?"
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
(E. J. Hardy, M. A.)
(W. M. Hay Aitken, M. A.)
(J. Leckie, D. D.)
1. BE PERSUADED THAT YOU ARE ALL SPIRITUALLY IN THE CONDITION OF BARTIMEUS — and that without Divine illumination, you are no more qualified for the concerns of the moral world than a blind man is for those of the natural world.
2. BE PERSUADED THAT, WITH REGARD TO THE REMOVAL OF THIS BLINDNESS, YOU ARE IN AS HOPEFUL A CONDITION AS THIS POOR MAN. In all these miracles our blessed Lord holds Himself forth as the all-sufficient helper of sinners.
3. BE PERSUADED TO IMITATE THE IMPORTUNITY OF THIS BLIND BEGGAR, IN CRYING FOR MERCY. And especially let your importunity, like this poor man's, appear with regard to two things. First, like him, seize the present moment. Let not the opportunity afforded you be lost by delay. Secondly, like him, be not silenced by discouragement and opposition.
4. If He has healed you! — if you can say, "One thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I see." LIKE BARTIMEUS, BE CAREFUL TO FOLLOW THE SAVIOUR. This is the best way to evidence your cure. This is also the best way to improve your deliverance. Thus you will "show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light." Follow Him, then, as an imitator of His example.
What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee?Matthew 18:20). And He asks of each the question in the text. Three classes of replies.
1. The reply of some is, "Let us alone — leave us." Diogenes wished Alexander, as the greatest favour he could bestow, to "stand out of my sunshine." Christ stands between some men and what they imagine to be sunshine.(1) How ungrateful is such a reply. What pain and grief it must give Him who died to save us.(2) How mad it is. If we could succeed we should have destroyed our only hope — broken the only bridge by which we might return.
2. The reply of others is, "Lull our consciences to rest." They want ease, but not holiness, pardon without change of heart.(1) How vain is such a search. Christ's offers are always coupled with requirements ( Matthew 11:28-30; Matthew 5:8).(2) How utterly worthless it would be. It would be a sham, and we should know it and despise
3. The reply of others is, "Cleanse, purify, renew us." Like this man they ask for sight. Like the leper they ask to be made clean. They cry in their doubts and fears, "I believe; help Thou mine unbelief." And such never come in vain. Christ meets with them, and though they touch but the hem of His garment, grants, their requests (Luke 4:18).
(J. N. Norton, D. D.)
(F. W. P. Greenwood, D. D.).
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