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The Conversion of Beggar-bartimeus.

The Conversion of Beggar-bartimeus.

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Published by glennpease
BY REV. WILLIAM CHARLES ROBERTS, D.D.. LL.D.



Mark x. 46-52: "And they came to Jericho: and as he
went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of
people, blind hartimeus, the son of Timeus, sat by the high-
way side beggiug," etc.
BY REV. WILLIAM CHARLES ROBERTS, D.D.. LL.D.



Mark x. 46-52: "And they came to Jericho: and as he
went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of
people, blind hartimeus, the son of Timeus, sat by the high-
way side beggiug," etc.

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Published by: glennpease on Mar 07, 2013
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THE CONVERSION OF BEGGAR-BARTIMEUS.
BY REV. WILLIAM CHARLES ROBERTS, D.D.. LL.D.
Mark x. 46-52: "And they came to Jericho: and as hewent out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind hartimeus, the son of Timeus, sat by the high-way side beggiug," etc.IX looking at the two men brought to Christin the neighborhood of Jericho, we discoverresemblances and differences in the modeand circumstances of their conversion. Both be-longed to the chosen people. Both were recog-nized by their neighbors as the sons of Abra-ham according to the flesh. Consequently^, weare safe in saying that both were more or lessfamiliar with the law and the prophets, theJewish ritual and the promises concerning thecoming of Christ.Both men were well known in Jericho, butfor diflferent reasons. The publican, by hisoffice, social position and wealth ; and the blindman by his father, Timeus, who was a person of note for reasons not furnished in the record.40NEW TESTAMENT CONVERSIONS. 41The fact that the evangelist states that Barti-meus was the son of Timeiis shows that he wasa man of some distinction among his fellow-citizens.The two had acquired more or less knowl-edge of Jesus, either from the preaching of John, or from friends and neighbors who hadseen and heard him. Both believed him to bemore than an ordinary man ù perhaps a per-former of miracles or a prophet, if not thepromised Messiah. What they had heard of him produced a strong desire to see him.From infancy the publican had looked on thebeauties of Jericho and the faces of its citi-zens; but Bartimeus had seen neither. Hereis presented a sad contrast. 'ò I can fancyfew sadder sights," says Dr. Guthrie, " than afamily, parents and children, all blind ù a homewhere the flowers have no beauty, where thenight has no stars, where the morning has noblushing dawn, and where the azure sky hasno blessed sun ; a home where the membershave never looked on each other's faces, but
 
where the blind father sits by a dull fire witlia blind boy upon his knees, and the sightlessmother nurses at her breast a sightless babethat never gladdened her with his happy smile."The chasm between Zaccheus and Bartimeus inthis respect was as wide as that between theeast and the west.The subject to which your attention is in
 ╗
 42 NEW TESTAMENT CONVERSIONS.vited is " The Conversion of an Afflicted Beg-gar ù Bartimeus."Notice, first, the view which he had been hold-ing of his own condition. He thought for yearsthat it was utterly hopeless. He may have ac-cepted the allegation that Jesus, who was aboutto pass by, had power to heal diseases. Hemight have accepted this as a general truthand soliloquized, " Yes, he may have healedmany kinds of diseases, he may have curedserious ailments, he may have even opened theeyes of the blind, but I do not believe thathe has ever opened the ejes of one stone-blind, blind for fifty years." He concluded,therefore, that his case was peculiar, difficultto reach, hopeless.He mtxy, on the other hand, have implicitlybelieved all that had been told him of Jesus.He may have come to the conclusion that hecould heal him, if he would ; that he could re-move the scales from eyes as blind as his, if he was onl3'^ willing to do it. But he was surethat he would never come to Jericho. It wasa den of thieves ù a corrupt, God-forsaken cit3\ Why should he come there? He would be de-spised of the priests and rejected of the pub-licans. That must have been known to himsince he was a prophet and possibly the Mes-siah. He was honored at Nazareth; he wasfollowed by a multitude of admiring peoplealong the shores of Galilee ; he was sure to beNEW TESTAMENT CONVERSIONS. 43received with roj-al honor at Jerusalem. " Hewill not come to Jericho, and I, a poor, afflictedbeggar, cannot leave home nor cross the coun-try in order to meet him. My doom is sealed 1" Jericho is a populous. Godless city, and
 
Christ is gracious and full of compassion. Forthese reasons he may come to Herod's city.But, if he does, he v/ill take the royal roadand not this obscure path beside which I sit.He may open the eyes of those fortunateenough to come in his way or w^ho may havefriends to bring them to his presence. Alas I1 do not belong to that class. Consequently Imust keep my old seat by the roadside and becontented to let him go, without his blessing,even if he pass this wa}-. There is no hope forme!'ò Should he come to Jericho and pass myway, he will not notice me. He is a King,not accustomed to speak to beggars ! He ishigh and lifted up, hence he is above lookingon a blind man by the wayside. He is sur-rounded by such a multitude as will render itimpossible for him to hear my cry. It is vain,therefore, to hope for anything better than Inow enjo}'. Blindness and beggary will continueto be my unwelcome companions to the end of life!" Some such thoughts as these probablypassed through the mind of Bartimeus after heheard of Jesus.We often hear somethin^r like this from the44 NEW TESTAMENT CONVERSIONS.lips of those who are spiritually blind. Theyunduly emphasize their unworthiness and lostcondition. They sometimes aver that the classto which they belong is so uninviting that theSon of God will not visit them. Shouldhe have pity on an}^, it will be on thosewho are in a favorable position, or posses-sion of friends who have influence with him.He will not, he cannot condescend to look on any one so lowly and so far gone as theyare! What a strange view to take of theFriend of sinners I What ignorance of the char-acter of his love! What an erroneous con-ception of his infinite compassion! The groundof his love does not lie in lis, nor in anythingabout us. He himself is the cause and rea-son, the motive and end of his love for ourrace. If we fail to grasp this thought we havenot learned the half of the fulness of Christ'slove. His is a love which has no motive butitself; a love which is eternal, having existedin the divine heart before there were creaturestoward whom it could flow ; a love that is itsown guarantee, its own cause, safe and un-shaken, with all the firmness of his unchange-

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