Being blind, Bartimaeus had a tremendous need.
What’s a sunrise look like? People are always talking about the beautiful palm trees in Jericho. What do they look like? Can you imagine being born blind in a beautiful world?
His hearing was exceptional.
Somebody told him that Jesus was passing by.
There was nothing wrong with his voice. He cried.
Vocal passion. Blindness. Jesus.
Those that were walking with Jesus heard his cry. Such a cry was unusual to this band of disciples. They had been walking with the God-man for a long time now. His crying out with desperation was unacceptable to them. They told Bartimaeus to hold his peace. Bartimaeus was trying to let go of blindness; he was tired of holding stuff.
The disciples were used to Jesus now. Maybe way back in the beginning they had the passion of a Bartimaeus, but now they had protocol. They proudly wore the badges of the passion police. Chill man.
Just because you’ve grown accustomed to Jesus, doesn’t mean you have the right to criticize somebody else’s passion.
Jesus isn’t afraid of passion. He doesn’t cast away those that break through the crowd to touch Him. Nor does He stop somebody from trying to walk on the water. He’ll gladly stand still as one naked man and six thousand devils worship at his feet.
Passion? I don’t think Jesus expects anything less.
The disciples thought it was uncalled for. They had so much of Jesus that Jesus was just Jesus. To Bartimaeus, Jesus was everything.
What about us? Jesus shows up at our services and closets of prayer so regularly that we can take Him for granted. Passion is exchanged for protocol. Schedules can’t be interrupted by His supernatural acts. Let’s keep everything running according to plan.
Perhaps it’s because of this that Jesus said to come to Him like a little child. He didn’t mean that we should stay immature in our discipleship; He meant that we should never lose the wonder of it all.
Possibly the disciples had forgotten what it was to have a glaring issue that only Jesus could fix. Do you remember what it was to come to Jesus knowing that if He didn’t touch you, you wouldn’t be able to make it?
Jesus is attracted to needs. He turns towards passion.
Human needs and desperation will always be a regular part of any growing church. The last thing that church needs are people wearing the badge of the Passion Police.
The passion police are in every church. They notice, talk about and nag those that pray too long, worship too loud, or cry too long. They prefer a tame Jesus and a stirred not shaken service. Sacrifice to them doesn’t include a broken spirit, or a broken heart.
Mary of Mark 14 is a stark contrast to these officers. She reminds all that to change the atmosphere there must be brokenness in worship. Mix in a few tears for good measure. And remember worship is about Jesus and what He means to each individual personally.
Hang up your badge and go back and get your passion.