A Sermon on Mark 10:13-16 and 46-52
“Hush, Bartimaeus! Be quiet! Don’t make a scene!” MANY people scolded him. They spoke in the same harsh way as the disciples had spoken to the adults who tried to bring their children to Jesus. Mark uses the very same Greek word to convey their sternness.
Instead of helping Bartimaeus make contact with Jesus, they tried to shut him up. Was it because they thought he was an eyesore, a nuisance, an embarrassment that they didn’t want any VIPs to see? Bartimaeus sat by the roadside with his cloak spread open to receive coins passersby might toss his way. Maybe he resembled a homeless person curled up in a blanket in a doorway.
Bartimaeus was one of society’s least ones, a person whose life mattered less in others’ eyes—though polite people would be reluctant to admit that it mattered less. All lives matter. Right?
“Be quiet, Bartimaeus! We don’t want to hear it!”
Be quiet! Don’t make a scene. Through the ages that’s what countless people longing for things to be better have heard. People just wanting to exercise their rights as citizens, for example. People just seeking a decent living and who don’t want to be redlined out of safe neighborhoods. Be quiet! Don’t stir things up!
People just wanting to use the gifts God has given them—women who hear the call to preach, for example, still being told in so many places “Be quiet! It’s not your place!”
Parents of children with special needs petitioning for an appropriate education for their children being told “Go away! Don’t take resources away from our normal children!”
People deeply hurt by derogatory or unjust remarks made about themselves or others, but they don’t speak up. They swallow the pain because how well they have learned, “Be quiet! Be polite! Don’t stir things up!”
People with smiles plastered on their faces, but inwardly they struggle and cry. “Keep quiet,” they tell themselves. “Don’t let anybody see. Don’t let anybody hear. Don’t burden someone else.”
And many have internalized, “Don’t even bother the church. Don’t bring your brokenness to church. You at least gotta look like things are alright.” (more…)