Series: Guest Preachers
Lord Let Me Recover
February 12, 2023 | Dale Kulp
Passage: Luke 18:31-43
Is there something that you insist on keeping even at the price of misery? Lord Jesus has delight for you, restoration for you, health for you, healing for you, something better than anything in the past for you. But you've got to be willing to let go of the misery. Let go of the thing you're holding on to. Be strong! Fear not!
Here we have someone who was humble, who was used to begging and he cried out, "son of David have mercy on me," and this second request, "Lord, let me receive my sight." The world's beautiful and it's broken. Things aren't the way they should be. You should be able to see the beautiful world that the Lord has created. We shouldn't be able to see it. Bartimaeus couldn't see it. You should be able to walk along the Susquehanna River, even at night, you should be able to enjoy the Sunken Gardens unmolested.
Cornelius Plantinga, Jr. wrote, "Not the Way it's Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin," which is an interesting book, going into all different types of sin. And basically he defines sin as a culpable breaking of shalom. And we know shalom, right? What is shalom? That's peace, right? Peace. And the Jewish concept of peace was way more than what we tend to think, you know, we tend to think peace. "Oh, there's no, you know, current conflict going on no war, no strife within our family, no problems at work or whatever." You know, we think peace, a lot, lack of things like that, but, but for the Jewish people, peace was more holistic, more a sense of well being he planted the finds that the webbing together of God, humans and all creation and justice, fulfillment, and delight is what the Hebrew prophets called shalom, we call it peace, but it was far more than mere peace of mind or ceasefire among enemies in the Bible. Shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness and delight. A rich state of affairs in which natural needs are satisfied, natural gifts fruitfully employed as a state of affairs that inspires joyful wonder as its creator and savior opens doors and welcomes the creatures in whom he delights. Shalom, in other words, is the way things ought to be.
Well, Bartimaeus wanted his sight restored. Now, for sight to be restored. That implies something right? It implies that he used to be able to see if some people are born blind. And in the Scripture, we hear of someone who was born blind, being healed in and coming to see, but Bartimaeus is looking for his sight to be restored. He probably was gainfully employed before he was probably able to use his natural gifts and fruitful employment. And now he wasn't. There weren't any open doors for him in his current state. He wanted things the way they should be. Part of us was blind, but he could see that Jesus was his only hope. He the doctors weren't helping him. He didn't ask Jesus, "hey, Jesus, do you know a good eye doctor?" No. He he applied directly to Jesus. He wanted Jesus to help him when he asked what was going on, so he was there, begging for money. And then he hears this commotion. He asked the people around him the people in his community, probably synagogue members, "what's going on?" And they said, "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by." And does he cry out, "Jesus of Nazareth, have mercy on me?" No, what does he cry out? "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me." He was blind, but he knew who Jesus was. And you might think, "Well, what's different, you know?" Jesus. Jesus of Nazareth, people called Jesus the prophet from Nazareth, and sometimes added "Can anything good come from Nazareth?" But he was the prophet from Nazareth. But as far as I knew that he was the son of David, not just a prophet from Nazareth, what's what's the son of David? The Messiah, right? Bartimaeus saw Jesus. He's not just a prophet, He's the Messiah. This is who we've been waiting for.
This is the person who has kingly authority, the person who is able to rule his people, able to heal his people, who rules over the forces of nature, over the forces of physical and spiritual harm, the son of David, the one we've been waiting for, he might not have understood everything that Jesus was about the 12 disciples didn't understand everything Jesus was about, we read at the beginning of the text, when Jesus explained what was going on, on the way up to Jerusalem, they understood none of these things. But what he did understand about Jesus, he believed, and he called out, maybe you don't understand everything about Christianity, and you don't understand how everything worked, you know, and how Jesus is the Son of God and born of a virgin and, and how the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all want to get maybe you can't understand all these things. You don't have to understand all these things. You need to believe what you do understand and call out to the Lord, for help, where you are and believe in Him, whatever understanding he's giving you of himself. "Son of David, have mercy on me, let me recover my sight." We need recovery. You and I need recovery.
When Pastor Peter is away Second City Church is blessed to hear other men God has gifted to preach.