In the tenth chapter of Mark, we story of a blind man named Bartimaeus. He cried out to Jesus, because he wanted to be able to see. He was seeking God for the healing of his eyes, and he did not care about what the crowd thought. Even though the crowd wanted him to be quiet he cried out even louder “Jesus Son of David, have mercy on me.” After Jesus healed his eyes, he began “following Jesus on the road.” The chapter gives us certain points on what it means to follow Jesus.
Following Jesus on the road, means to be healed of our blindness. When Jesus asked Bartimaeus what he wanted, his reply was “that I may receive my site. While he was physically blind, there is a blindness that most people do not recognize. There is a spiritual blindness, that we all either had or presently have. We have all been taught, by our parents or society spiritual beliefs. Not everything that we are taught is true, and yet we never seek God to find the truth. We never open up a Bible for ourselves, to learn what God has said. Instead of listening to God, we listen to what others have to say about God. We follow them, even though it is possible for them to be wrong in their beliefs. If they are wrong in their believes, they are spiritually blind. It is a very dangerous place to be, when we follow the blind. The first thing we need to do, to follow Jesus is to ask him to heal our blindness.
Following Jesus on the road, means to ask God for mercy. “For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.” Rom. 3:23. Everyone of us has fell short of God's perfection. We have all done things that are wrong, and have not done things that we know we should have. As a result, we are all in trouble. We all deserve to be punished for our wrong doing. Crying out to God for mercy, is asking God to forgive us for our wrong doing. It is asking God, not to give us what we deserve. Which is a death sentence. That is why Jesus died. He died to take our death sentence upon himself. Because of the cross, we can have mercy from God. Why not ask him for it today.
Following Jesus on the road, is to do what is right. There was a rich man that asked Jesus, “what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life.” Jesus replied, “You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery,' 'Do not murder,' 'Do not steal,' Do not bear false witness,' 'Do not defraud,' Honor your mother and your mother.” This verse shows us that God does require us to do what is right. There is so much talk today, about not being under the law. It is true, we are not under the law. However, that does not give us a ticket to do whatever we want. Not being under the law, means that you will not have to receive the punishment for your wrong doing, because of God' love. However, we now can have God living in us, by the Holy Spirit, to help us to do what is right. So if we are born again, we have no excuse in doing what is wrong. After all God helps us, to do what is right.
Following Jesus on the road, means to reach out to those in need. The rich man had no problem with the commandments, I mentioned in the previous paragraph. He had a problem in giving to the poor. He was not willing to give his all to the poor. He wanted to hold on to his money. God is very concerned for the hurting. We are to do all we can, to reach out to them. It may not be money that they need. They may need food, clothing, a shoulder to cry on, help from a control substance, just to mention a few. Are will willing to do whatever it takes to to reach out to them.
Following Jesus on the road, means to give him you all. The rich man was willing to give Jesus everything, except his money. He was not willing to give Jesus his all. We may not have a problem in giving Jesus our money, but there may be something else we are not willing to give him. We all love to hold on to things that are so dear to us. What is it that we are holding on to, that is keeping us from following Jesus. Is it a bad relationship? Is it money? Is it fame? Are we making our jobs, keep us from a relationship with God? We are to love our families, but do we prefer what they say over what God has to say keeping us from following Jesus? There are so many other things that can prevent us from a vibrant relationship with God. Have you given your all to Jesus, if not do so now.
Following Jesus on the road, means to share our faith. Jesus entered Judea to teach the people as he was accustomed to. Where ever Jesus went the disciples went with him as well. When Bartimaeus followed Jesus, he also went with Jesus to where the people were. It is good to go to church for our spiritual growth. However, we need to take time to go on the road of where the people are. We need to go and teach all that God has done for us. We need to take time, to reach the lost. God loves the people, and he does not want any to perish. We to need to love them enough to reach out to them, with the love of God. We need to let them know that Jesus loves them, he died for their sins and then rose again. Let us take the gospel to the streets.
Are you following Jesus on the road? Are you living your life, the way Jesus lived? Are you following his teachings? Do you even know what he has taught? Have you given him you all, or are you holding something back? If you are not following Jesus completely, will you do so today. All you need to do, is say a prayer similar to the following.
Dear Jesus, I am sorry for all that I have done wrong. I believe that you died on the cross for my sin. I believe that you rose from the dead. Please have mercy on me and forgive me for all of my sins. From this day forward I choose to follow you. Come in to my life, in Jesus name I pray. Amen.