Participants: L. Richard Walton
Series Code: FC
Program Code: FC000020
00:29 Hi, my name is Richard Walton.
00:31 I'm originally from California,
00:33 but I'm currently living in Arlington, Virginia.
00:36 I'm a second year law student
00:37 at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington DC.
00:43 Let's open the word today.
00:44 Mark Chapter 10 verse 46.
00:49 Before we begin to read
00:50 let's pause for just a quick word of prayer.
00:54 Dear Lord, thank you
00:56 for all the blessings you bestow on us.
00:59 Bless us now bless us as we read Your word,
01:02 open our hearts and our minds we pray in Jesus name, amen.
01:07 Mark Chapter 10 and verse 46.
01:14 "Now they came to Jericho.
01:15 And as He went out with a great multitude,
01:20 blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus,
01:22 sat by the road begging.
01:24 And when he heard that it was Jesus
01:27 he began to cry out,
01:28 "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"
01:36 In the closing moments of His ministry here on earth,
01:39 Jesus was headed
01:40 for a faithful appointment called Calvary.
01:44 He had been hiding in a wilderness town
01:46 called Ephraim, driven there
01:48 because after raising Lazarus from the dead,
01:51 He was so hated by the Pharisees
01:53 that they were plotting His death.
01:57 But Jesus life and death would move
02:00 on God's timetable not man's
02:03 and so He had fled 14 miles
02:05 northeast of Jerusalem across the mountains
02:09 to what is the present day city of that Tayeeba.
02:13 And it is the perfect place for a fugitive.
02:18 It stands on a high hill commanding a wide panorama
02:22 of the plains of Jericho and the Dead Sea.
02:24 And so anybody approaching will be seen from miles.
02:30 And there Jesus and His friends had safely hidden.
02:36 But finally the time had come, time for Calvary
02:42 and so the little group wound their way
02:44 across the mountains, but strangely on this trip
02:50 the Lord seems to have gotten lost.
02:54 Because Jesus and His small group of disciples
02:57 did not go directly toward Jerusalem
03:00 but detoured southeastward towards Jericho
03:03 taking two sides of a triangle
03:06 and making a brutal 2800 foot climb
03:09 and descent in the process,
03:16 Why? Why the detour and the extra work,
03:20 because at Jericho,
03:24 Jesus had an appointment with a blind man.
03:29 Mark Chapter 10 verse 46.
03:32 "Now they came to Jericho.
03:34 And as He went out with the great multitude,
03:36 blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus,
03:39 sat by the road begging.
03:40 And when he heard that it was Jesus,
03:42 he began to cry out,
03:44 "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy!"
03:48 Many warned him to be quiet, but he cried out all the more,
03:53 "Son of David, have mercy!"
03:56 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called.
04:03 Then they called the blind man,
04:06 "Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you."
04:14 And throwing aside his garment,
04:16 he rose and came to Jesus.
04:19 And Jesus said,
04:20 "What do you want Me to do for you?"
04:24 And the blind man said to Him,
04:25 "Rabboni, that I may receive my sight."
04:30 Then Jesus said to him,
04:32 "Go your way, your faith has made you well."
04:42 A beggar with a problem and the dream
04:47 somewhere, somehow he gained his sight
04:49 and he'd see the depth and color and detail
04:54 of the pictures he had made in his mind.
04:59 Ironically we don't even know his name,
05:02 sure we know he was Bartimaeus
05:05 but that tells us nothing
05:06 because in Hebrew Bar means son of,
05:09 so Bartimaeus simply means
05:12 that this guys was Timaeus boy.
05:15 And now two men, a blind guy
05:17 and the Lord of creation found themselves
05:20 on a collision course that would illustrate
05:23 the entire thesis of the Bible.
05:28 Well, what is the real point of the word of God?
05:32 66 books, 1,500 years worth of literature.
05:36 Some of it written almost literally in blood.
05:39 What does it all mean?
05:43 What is the final point of this book?
05:49 Sure, it tells of sin and salvation
05:53 of life and death.
05:55 It even talks about such practices help for living.
05:58 And by the way folks, you know, since 1863,
06:03 we have known some very simple dietary guidelines
06:10 which can add epidemiologically,
06:12 we have shown up to eight more
06:16 happy healthy years to your life.
06:22 But all of that is only a picture frame
06:28 for the real issue.
06:29 Mean even the devil knows all of that.
06:33 So what is the real issue of the Bible?
06:36 I've got a law of professor at Georgetown
06:38 that tells me you know Rich,
06:39 if you can frame the issue
06:41 you can solve anything and it's very true.
06:44 So let's frame the issue today.
06:49 And might I suggest to you the issue
06:52 this book posses is a question.
06:58 Do you really trust the Lord?
07:05 Six simple words and every thing
07:07 in the Bible revolves around them.
07:11 For a moment leave Bartimaeus
07:13 and go back to the morning of human history.
07:15 Take a look at Genesis 12:1,
07:19 Genesis Chapter 12 and verse one.
07:22 "Now the Lord had said to Abram,
07:25 Get out of your country, from your family
07:27 and from your father's house,
07:28 to a land that I will show you."
07:32 Where is Abraham living at this point?
07:34 He is living in Ur of the Chaldees,
07:36 a city of incredible wealth and culture.
07:39 The famous royal cemetery is dating from around 2500 BC
07:43 have yielded jewelry and art treasures
07:46 of unimaginable beauty
07:48 particularly gorgeous head attire,
07:51 several musical instruments
07:52 and other beautifully crafted objects,
07:54 many of them in gold demonstrates that this city
07:57 had achieved a high level of civilization
08:00 500 years before Abraham arrived on the scene.
08:06 Now Abraham is wealthy,
08:08 he's probably a successful merchant
08:10 in cattle bearing in Ur.
08:14 And suddenly out of nowhere comes this the effect command,
08:19 leave this place and head west across
08:21 the desert out into the unknown.
08:24 Now does that make any sense at all from human perspective?
08:29 None, why would you leave a good life,
08:33 a good ministry and ought to go out into the desert.
08:37 I mean, Abraham setup, he's got a good business,
08:39 he's got a book ministry, he goes out every Sabbath,
08:42 passes out literature, he's got a good life.
08:45 And suddenly God says, leave it all behind
08:49 and go out into the unknown just because I said so.
08:54 Have you ever noticed that God's directions
08:56 often don't make any sense?
08:59 For instance He says, if you want to loose your--
09:01 to keep your life you should loose it.
09:05 Take a look at Second Chronicles
09:08 in the time of King Jehoshaphat
09:11 massive invading armies
09:12 had swept out of the deserts of Syria towards Judah
09:15 like a swarm of red ants.
09:19 The king and the people had retreated
09:21 into the wall fortress of Jerusalem
09:24 where they hoped they could outlast the Syrian army.
09:27 You see warfare in those days
09:29 depended on as it does now
09:31 on having a good strategic position.
09:34 Jehoshaphat had a smaller less well trained,
09:38 less well equipped army than did the King of Syria.
09:42 So he retreats into the wall fortress of Jerusalem
09:45 where as archers have cover behind crenellated walls
09:48 and his army can rain down destruction on any person
09:53 that tries to approach.
09:55 It's the only he maybe able to survive
09:58 and even that will be brutal.
10:00 In those days invading armies seldom try to take a city
10:04 as strong as Jerusalem by direct attack.
10:07 They might try once at most, and then they would encircle
10:10 the city and settle back
10:11 to what was called the siege warfare.
10:14 They would cut off all supplies into the city,
10:16 all food and water and literally starve
10:19 the inhabitance into submission.
10:21 By the end of a ancient siege people would be eating
10:25 their own children and selling small portion
10:28 of pigeon dung for ridiculous amounts of money,
10:31 because people were starving to death
10:33 there was nothing left to eat.
10:36 Even so it was the only hope that King Jehoshaphat
10:40 had and so he took his pitifully small army
10:42 retreats into Jerusalem and holds a prayer meeting
10:46 asking the Lord for guidance.
10:49 And in the middle of that meeting
10:51 a man of God stands up.
10:54 We don't know much about him.
10:55 He only appears in two very short verses of scripture
10:59 and he gives advice that militarily was suicidal.
11:03 Leave this fortified city the only defensible position
11:07 you've got and expose yourself out in the open to an invader
11:12 so powerful they're like the sands of the sea.
11:18 Militarily the advice did not make any sense.
11:23 You never leave a strongly defended
11:25 position to face the superior army in the open.
11:30 It would have been a slaughter
11:31 by any conventional standards, but that was God's advice.
11:38 And what did king Jehoshaphat say,
11:40 Second Chronicles 20:20.
11:43 "So they rose early in the morning and went out
11:46 into the wilderness of Tekoa, and as they went out,
11:51 Jehoshaphat stood and said, "Hear me, O Judah
11:54 and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the Lord
11:58 your God, and you shall be established,
12:03 believe His prophets,
12:06 and you will prosper."
12:13 Believe His prophets so shall you prosper.
12:16 That statement ought to be framed and hanging
12:18 and hanging on the wall
12:19 of every denominational committee room in the world.
12:23 And our church leaders
12:26 and men of God often face difficult decisions
12:28 where the choices seem equally bad.
12:33 And when they do, the Bible records
12:39 a simple answer Jehoshaphat spills into history
12:41 this simple statement of faith "Believe His prophets,
12:46 so shall you prosper."
12:51 The Bible records that after following a prophet's advice,
12:54 Judah's triumph was so complete,
12:58 it took them three days
12:59 to hold off the spoils of victory.
13:03 That's what happens when you do things God's way.
13:08 And of course the obvious converse
13:11 to that is when you don't do things His way,
13:13 problem start occurring
13:15 and the things go terribly, terribly wrong.
13:20 So God's advice often challenges
13:22 our ideas of what the right thing is to do.
13:25 And around 2000 BC man named Abraham got instructions
13:30 that defy human logic.
13:33 But like King Jehoshaphat he had faith.
13:38 And you can read his response in Genesis 12:5.
13:43 "Then Abram took Sarai his wife
13:45 and Lot his brother's son, and all their possessions
13:49 and they departed to go to the land of Canaan."
13:53 In other words, Abraham launched into the unknown,
13:57 out into the emptiness of the desert
13:59 just because God said so.
14:05 So Abraham is great hero of faith.
14:11 Acts on a command of God and we could end the story there.
14:14 But if we did, we'd be getting only half the lesson
14:19 the story of Abraham has to teach us for lurking
14:23 with in his soul was a trait
14:25 that even he didn't know he possessed.
14:29 Take a look at Genesis 12:11.
14:32 "And it came to pass, when he was close to entering Egypt,
14:35 that he said to Sarai his wife,
14:37 you are a woman of beautiful countenance.
14:41 When the Egyptians see you,
14:43 they will surely kill me,
14:47 Please say you are my sister,"
14:51 In other words Sarai, for me you love me, honey,
14:56 tell them a little white lie.
15:00 But what Abraham really saying.
15:05 The God of Israel, the man who-the deity
15:09 who led us out here can't protect us anymore.
15:16 You see there was a hole in Abraham's faith,
15:18 huge and potentially lethal
15:21 for a special messenger of God.
15:25 You see, when God calls you to do a special work,
15:29 when you're acting in His name,
15:31 when you're carrying the battle flag,
15:33 don't let it drag in the dirt.
15:35 Your faith if you're going to witness to others about God
15:39 has to be a 100 percent solid.
15:44 And when God raises up special people
15:46 with a special mission, it is dangerous, very dangerous
15:51 to have defects like that.
15:53 You'll fail God, you'll fail Him so completely
15:57 that even the heathen will rebuke you.
16:01 It happened to Abraham.
16:03 Pharaoh rebuked him and later on when Abraham
16:06 made the very same mistake
16:10 what the native king named Abimelech
16:12 he got a much deserved rebuke.
16:15 Genesis 20:9 And Abimelech
16:18 called Abraham and said to him,
16:20 "What have you done to us?
16:23 You have brought on me
16:24 and on my kingdom a great sin?
16:31 Here is a heathen monarch lecturing
16:34 God's special messenger on sin.
16:40 As I said when you carry God's flag,
16:44 don't let it drag in the dirt.
16:49 So Abraham had a defect of character lurking
16:54 within this great man of God was a problem unknown even
16:59 to himself until a circumstance
17:03 brought it to notice.
17:04 Have you ever had a situation
17:06 like that or you've done something that just totally
17:09 shocked yourself with shame.
17:12 Well folks, I come from Southern California,
17:16 and I get on the four or five in the morning,
17:19 I'm driving along happy as convenience,
17:21 some jerk cuts me off and I discover
17:23 that there are wells with in me
17:27 that I didn't realized I had.
17:33 And when that happens, you know, it's easy to say
17:36 I can't believe that sin was still lurking
17:40 within my own soul.
17:41 And at that point you can either retreat
17:43 into discouragement or you can get encouraged
17:47 and say praise the Lord the Holy Spirit
17:49 had shown me something I didn't know was wrong
17:52 with my character, something I can get rid of.
17:59 And you can thank the Lord for the opportunity
18:02 to be a better person.
18:05 When that happens, when the Holy Spirit reveal
18:07 something brings that out in the open,
18:10 there is a very simple remedy.
18:12 Let me suggest seven simple words
18:15 which can solve that kind of a problem.
18:17 I'd rather have Jesus than that sin.
18:24 So Abraham's weakness exposed
18:26 in the crucible of lives challenges
18:29 led him at last to a mountain called Moriah
18:33 and a great test that showed
18:34 he had at last learned to trust the Lord.
18:42 You've ever faced the Mount Moriah experience.
18:48 When it seem that even God was asking the impossible,
18:53 the prayer that never seem to get answered,
18:57 the job you didn't get, the healing that didn't happen.
19:03 Even Paul went through it three times he prayed
19:07 for something probably for good eyesight
19:09 to do the Lord's work better and his request was denied.
19:15 When we come to those moments, remember that God
19:19 maybe bringing us back again to face an old failure
19:23 and like Abraham to triumph at last.
19:31 Do you really trust the Lord?
19:36 Think about it and everything in scripture
19:39 posses that question.
19:42 Israel at the Jordon, Israel at the Red Sea.
19:47 Job tormented by apparentness fortune,
19:50 unaware at first that the entire cosmos was looking on.
19:54 But even in his pain preaching the message of the Bible
19:59 and one of the most powerful statements
20:01 of faith ever uttered.
20:03 "Though he slay me,
20:06 yet will I trust Him."
20:12 And little by little these great men and women of faith
20:15 found their way into the gallery of giants
20:17 described in Hebrews 11
20:21 By faith Abel offered to God
20:24 a more excellent sacrifice than Cain.
20:28 By faith Enoch was translated
20:30 that he should not see death.
20:32 By faith Noah, prepared an ark
20:34 by that which he became heir
20:35 of the righteousness which is by faith.
20:40 By faith Abraham when he was called obeyed.
20:45 These all died in the faith, having confessed
20:47 that they were strangers in pilgrims on the earth.
20:51 And what shall I more say?
20:52 For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon
20:56 and then of Barak and of Samson and of Jephthah,
20:59 of David also and Samuel and of the prophets:
21:06 And today may I add others too.
21:11 Huss and Jerome, Wickliffe, Martin Luther.
21:18 A handful of believers on the morning of October 23, 1844
21:24 who went on trusting when the whole world
21:27 said they were wrong.
21:30 Including a remarkable little lady who told us in 1863,
21:36 how you can live eight more years of life
21:39 and who ended her life at a ripe old age
21:42 with the magnificently simple statement of faith
21:45 "I know in whom
21:48 I have believed".
21:54 A cosmic gallery of giants in the eyes of heaven,
22:01 not because they were big, but because they believed
22:04 implicitly in somebody who was faith,
22:11 the one word that expresses the basic issue in the Bible.
22:18 Do you really trust the Lord?
22:23 Now let's go back and close with the story of a blind man
22:29 who saw more clearly than his sighted brothers.
22:33 On the Jericho wrote that day what the real issues were.
22:38 You know, lot of people relied on their eyesight that day
22:43 and hence were blind, but one man
22:49 living in the blackness saw it all.
22:54 Mark Chapter 10 verse 46.
22:59 "Now they came to Jericho.
23:01 And as He went out, blind Bartimaeus the son of Timaeus,
23:07 sat by the road begging.
23:11 And when he heard that it was Jesus,
23:13 he began to cry out Son of David, have mercy on me!"
23:19 Many warned him to be quiet;
23:21 but he cried out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy"
23:29 You know, most of the people on the road that day
23:32 thought Bartimaeus was wrong to ask Jesus for help.
23:38 But nothing was going to stop his quest to see the Lord.
23:42 "So Jesus verse 49, stood still
23:48 and commanded him to be called.
23:52 Then they called the blind man, rise, be of good cheer.
23:59 He is calling.'" And throwing aside his garment,
24:06 he rose and came to Jesus."
24:11 Now remember Bartimaeus was a beggar,
24:14 even his food was a daily struggle and the only thing
24:18 he own for certain from day to day were his cloths.
24:22 But when Jesus called what did he do?
24:25 The Bible says throwing aside his garment
24:29 he rose and came to Jesus.
24:35 You see, nothing was going to get between him and the Lord,
24:39 not even pride he came as he was.
24:43 Nothing would impede him hurtling toward a voice
24:49 that called to him out of the blackness.
24:54 You suppose there might be a lesson there for us.
24:59 I mean we speak and pray and sing about faith,
25:04 but do we really exercise it.
25:07 Do we really believe Jesus is coming soon?
25:12 Do we get rid of the things that stand
25:15 between us and salvation?
25:20 The possessions we're so proud of.
25:24 The entertainment that blocks him from our view.
25:31 The pride that makes us unfit for heaven.
25:37 If the answer is no, might that explain
25:41 why we sometimes seem to miss the miracles
25:44 that were so common place in Bible times, think about it.
25:51 When Bartimaeus threw away the last obstacle
25:54 and rush towards Jesus, the Lord of cosmos
26:00 was waiting for him with the question.
26:05 Verse 51 and Jesus said what do you want me to do for you.
26:12 And the blind man said to Him, Rabboni,
26:15 that I may receive my sight.
26:17 And in that one word Bartimaeus
26:18 has spilled into history the fact that Jesus was Lord
26:21 of his life possessive form of Rabbi, Rabboni, my leader,
26:26 and I may receive my sight.
26:29 And Jesus said to him, Go you way;
26:33 your faith has made you well.
26:36 And just like that Bartimaeus
26:39 was looking into the face of God.
26:44 Well, today for just a moment imagine something.
26:51 In front of you stands the glimmering
26:53 and condescend form of the cosmic king,
26:56 hair white as snow, eyes of fire,
26:59 body boiling with energy like motel brass,
27:02 under his control was everything
27:04 in the whole starry universe and looking you squarely
27:07 in the eye, he asks what do you want me to do for you?
27:14 and what is that you want today?
27:17 Healing of body or soul, a son or daughter
27:20 for whom you've prayed perhaps for years,
27:24 victory over in evil temporal and out of control appetite,
27:28 grace to do His work better and the will to turned off
27:30 the TV set get on with God's business.
27:33 What is it you want today?
27:37 Or whatever it is the same Lord who walks so far
27:40 out of His way to encountera blind beggar
27:44 is here looking for you.
27:48 And if you long for something
27:50 today be of good cheer, rise, He is calling you.