Shout All The More

“Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’” (Mark 10:48)

This verse is from the story of Jesus healing a blind beggar, a story in which some of my favourite verses are found. The story begins with a blind man named Bartimaeus sitting on the side of the road begging. He was blind, poor and literally sitting in dirt. He had every reason to shake his fist at God, speaking anger and frustration over his situation. But Bartimeaus doesn't. He sits at the side of the road, the best place to not only get help but also to encounter an intercessor. He positioned himself in the best place to receive blessing. That in itself challenges me, and we are only just beginning!

As soon as Bartimaeus hears that Jesus was walking by he begins to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:47). He did not wait until an opportune time, nor for Jesus to initiate the conversation. He knew Jesus was in earshot so he made a scene.

Imagine having that much faith, to continue to call out, not even being able to see if he has heard you. We have all been in places where we can’t see where God is working. It's a natural part of walking in faith. What we can learn from Bartimaeus is that no callout to God goes unnoticed, especially when we are active and purposeful in our position.

After being told to quieten down by the disciples, he again demonstrates such perseverance. It says, ‘He shouted all the more’. When we are calling out to God and we feel like the enemy is telling us to quieten down, how often do we give up? Bartimaeus knew that Jesus was his saviour so he just shouted louder. No voice of opposition could persuade him to stop. If we know Jesus is not only willing, but also eager to answer our prayers, why do we let lies hinder us from even trying to reach out?

And then we read, ‘Jesus stopped’. When we call out, He hears and draws close to us. Jesus will stop to attend to you; it is what He does. He wants nothing more than to raise you out of the dirt, open your eyes and lead you forward, just like He did for Bartimaeus.

Next he’s told, “Cheer up, on your feet, he’s calling you”. Bartimaeus has been heard and now is being called into a personal dialogue with Jesus. When we pray, we then have to decide to get up and step into the answer that Jesus has for us.

Sometimes sitting in the dirt feels familiar and comfortable, so much so that it seems scary to leave. It would have been so easy for Bartimaeus to be overcome with the fear of change. To want to stay in the predictable, yet painful existence. How often do we choose to dwell in the darkness because the light seems too unknown and uncomfortable? Bartimaeus chose the light and found a way into the healing arms of Jesus.

We can learn so much from this short story (and I could go on for ages!).
Instead I leave you with some challenges:

- How have you positioned yourself? Are you on the side of the road, actively seeking Jesus?

- Are you shouting all the louder when the opposition appears? Or do you stop, and sit quietly?

- Are you getting up when He answers? Are you throwing yourself into healing, or withdrawing because you are scared?

Ettie Robins