For a while he refused, but later he said to himself, 'Even though I do not fear God or respect men,
I. THE ARGUMENT IN THE TEXT. It is one from the less to the greater, or rather from the unworthy to the worthy. If a bad man will, for a poor reason, accede to the request of one for whom he cares nothing, how much more certainly will the Righteous One himself, for a good reason, espouse the cause of those who are so dear to him! The reasons for confidence in God's faithfulness and interposition are therefore threefold.
1. If an unprincipled judge amongst men will finally do justice, assuredly the righteous Judge of all the earth will do so. His character is something which cannot fail; we may build on that as on the most solid rock.
2. If justice is granted by us for so poor a reason as that of fearing vexatious annoyance, surely God will listen and will respond to reverent and believing prayer. He is far more certain to be won by that in us which pleases him than is an unjust judge by that in his appellant which annoys him. And our approach to him in prayer, our reverent attitude, our faith in his goodness, our trust in his Word, - all this is very pleasing unto our Father.
3. If a man will yield a demand made by one to whom he does not feel himself related, and in whom he is absolutely uninterested, how confident we may be that God will interpose on behalf of those who, as his own sons and daughters, are dear to his parental heart, and who, collectively, constitute "his own elect " - those who are most tenderly and intimately related to him in Jesus Christ his Son!
II. THE SERIOUS FACT OF THE DIVINE DELAY. "Though he bear long with them" (ver. 7), or, "and he delays [to interpose] in their cause" (Dr. Bruce). It is certain that, from our point of view, God does delay to vindicate his people; his answer does not come as soon as we expect it; it is held back so long that we are ready "to faint" (Lose heart). Thus was it many times in the history of Israel; thus has it been frequently in the history of the Church of Christ. How many times have suffering bands of noble martyrs looked up piteously and despondently to heaven as they cried, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood?" Thus has it been in multitudes of individual instances; men have been oppressed, or they have been embarrassed, or they have been disappointed, or they have been otherwise afflicted; they have appealed to God for his delivering grace; and they have looked long in vain for the Divine response. They say, "O my God, I cry,... but thou hearest not" (Psalm 22:2).
III. THE EXPLANATION THAT WILL BE FOUND. The time will come when we shall understand why God did delay to answer us. But we may be quite sure that when it comes it will be seen:
1. That it was not in him - not in his absence from us, nor his indifference to us, nor his unreadiness to help us.
2. That it, was in us - in our unreadiness to receive his interposition, or in the misuse we should make of it, or in the greater and truer good to be gained by our patience than by our relief; and thus in the ultimate gain to our own well-being by his withholding.
IV. THE BLESSED FACT THAT IT IS ONLY A DELAY. "I tell you that he will avenge them speedily."
1. It is probable that when God does manifest his power he will work speedy and overwhelming destruction to the guilty; he will avenge "speedily," i.e. quickly, instantaneously. "How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors. As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image" (Psalm 73:19, 20).
2. It is certain that in his own time and way God will defend his people, that he will relieve his children, that he will redeem and bless his "own elect." His faithfulness to his Word; his love for them that love him; his intimacy of relation to those who are "in Jesus Christ;" - this is a sure and absolute pledge that the appeal to him cannot be and will not be in vain. Men ought continuously, perseveringly, to pray, and never to lose heart. The day of Divine appearing is entered in the books of God. - 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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